Granola Bars.

Speaking of traditions.

Did your family ever spend Christmas morning at the beach watching turtles?  Have you ever had shrimp cocktail and steaks at your Thanksgiving?  Tell me: are you required to sing a rendition of Carol of the Bells in the voice of Bleeker before you can even touch your gifts?

No, I didn’t make granola bars, but not one of my dishes this Thanksgiving was inspired by the pilgrims.  And since when is green bean casserole a staple Native American dish?

So because of my massive headache and reluctance to consume anything but a cup of coffee, I’ll just tell you about these granola bars.  You know, the healthy alternative to Thanksgiving leftovers the morning after.

I mean, I’m not chewing on yesterday’s pumpkin cinnamon rolls.  Nor am I packing a quinoa stuffing lunch.

And hey! Figs have fiber!  For decreasing that post-Thugsgiving bloat.

These bars pack a drop kick to the face.  As if the figs, raisins, whole wheat, 10-grain mix, and figs weren’t enough, I managed to throw in chocolate chips.  Trail mix to the max.

And hey, don’t fret.  I’ll be posting a plethora of Thanksgiving treats that, to me, can be enjoyed year round.

Granola Bars.

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup 10 Grain Hot Cereal (I used Bob’s Red Mill.  You can also use bulgar wheat.)
3/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup figs, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup organic creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Warm the peanut butter in a microwave safe dish for 15 seconds.  Add honey and vanilla extract and stir until fully incorporated.

Mix all of the other ingredients in a large bowl and add the peanut butter mixture, stirring until all of the dries are covered.

Pour into a thoroughly greased 9×9 baking dish and bake for 25 minutes for chewy bars.

Makes 16 bars.

Granola

There’s nothing more empowering than to walk down to the sketchy grocery store with a newly conditioned pair of leather boots (my first!).  Especially because I never wear heels and even an inch makes me nervous.  And I’m a heavy walker.  And they’re still breaking in, so I’ve got about two and a half blisters on each foot.

So really, there’s nothing more embarrassing than to walk down the street, tripping over each curb, stomping with each step, and limping/wincing with pain.

But damn, they’re nice boots.  And they were $6.

And the trip through the fog/rain was worth it.  I got all the ingredients I needed for this sweet and savory granola.

Mountains of fiber!

Do you know what’s cheaper and more effective than a KitchenAid mixer?  My hands.

Plains of grains!

You know, I originally had an elaborate set-up for my “finished product” shot.  There was a tea pot.  And crystal mugs of earl grey and milk.  Even a cup full of fresh sage.

But granola isn’t fluffy.  It’s hearty.  It’s rugged.  It’s rough.  It goes well with leather boots.

Also, granola is perfect for hiking.  Someone take me hiking.

Granola.

2 cups rolled oats (don’t use quick oats)
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Throw the dry ingredients into a bowl and toss until the seeds are spread evenly.  Add all of the wet ingredients and mix until all of the grains, seeds, and raisins are covered.

Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake for half an hour, tossing the mixture after 15 minutes.

Makes about 5 cups of granola.