Apple-Cran Granola Bars
- Yield: 16 pieces
Light corn syrup may be substituted for agave nectar, using same measurements.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 1/4cups coarsely chopped dried apples
- 1/4 to 1/3cup apple juice or cider
- 1/3cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 2cups quick-cooking oats
- 1cup slightly chopped walnuts
- 1/2cup toasted wheat germ
- 1/3cup steel-ground oats
- 1/2cup agave nectar or light corn syrup
- 1/4cup light brown sugar
- 2tablespoons canola oil
- 1teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4teaspoon salt
- 1/8teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 300F. Line the inside of a 9-inch-square baking pan or dish with heavy foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Generously coat foil with cooking spray.
- Combine apples, juice and cranberries in small saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat about 4 minutes, until juice has evaporated and fruit is softened. Remove from heat; set aside.
- Place quick-cooking oats, walnuts, wheat germ and steel-cut oats in a single layer in a large, shallow baking pan. Bake about 15 minutes or until lightly brown, stirring once halfway through baking. Remove from oven; let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, stir together agave nectar, brown sugar and oil in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Gently simmer over medium heat 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.
- Immediately, stir in salt and baking soda until mixture just begins to foam. Stir in oat mixture until evenly coated. Stir in apple mixture. Transfer to prepared baking pan. Press mixture down firmly with the back of a spatula or metal spoon lightly sprayed with nonstick coating.
- Bake about 20 minutes, until top begins to lightly brown. Cool completely in baking pan. Use foil to lift granola out of pan. Cut into bars; remove from foil. Store in a single layer in a tightly covered container at room temperature up to 3 days.
Recipe courtesy of the U.S. Apple Association