I currently have very little time to eat. It seems like every time I get up to make a sandwich that monstrous big (I was having a tough day yesterday resulting in slightly hyperbolic word choice) baby is hungry again. And it's not an "oh that's okay, I can wait till you get a snack" sort of hunger, it's an absolutely dire "I have never been fed" sort of emergency that requires immediate tending to before the neighbors call child protective services. He already has fat folds. My little pudge loves to eat.
So to fill in the gaps when there isn't time to make myself a meal, Desmond and I found a spare fifteen minutes yesterday to make granola bars. My sister-in-law sent me this recipe months ago after I complained that I had never found a granola bar recipe that didn't fall apart. She was right. This one doesn't - it produces tender, chewy bars that will hold up in a lunchbox. Plus they are delicious. I've tinkered with the recipe to my liking, aided by the all of the helpful feedback on the original recipe. These are now less sweet, more vegan, and chewier. Plus there's chocolate chips. I consulted the young man as to what we should put in our granola bars and chocolate was his choice. I countered, in my most enticing voice, "Yeah! How about chocolate - almond - cherry." And with the end of conversation definitiveness that only a toddler can get away with, he responded, "No almond. No cherry."
He's had a tough time lately, what with a new baby in the house and starting preschool (last Thursday - I don't want to talk about it.), so I simply and completely acquiesced to his demands. No almonds. No cherries. Though I did manage to sneak in some toasted pecans. If there's no toddler in your house, you can put in whatever you want.
Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose if you don't have it)
1/4 cup flax meal
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 teaspoons black strap molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup water
Heat the oven to 350 and grease an 8 x 8 inch baking pan. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (the oats through salt). Make a well in the center and pour in the wet ingredients (all the rest). Stir to combine and spread this mixture out in your prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are just turning brown. Remove from the oven. Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting into bars. Store in an airtight container for several days or freeze for longer storage.
(Hey, the new Typepad will not let me indent recipes like I used to, and I can't seem to make the help desk understand. Any tips?)