I’m conducting a persuasive speech for speech class tomorrow. I need to conduct one that is supposed to change (or hopefully change) the opinions of my classmates from one thing to the next. Well, my subject is whole foods v. processed. Well, for the past three speeches, I’ve brought edible visual aids, and so I wanted to talk about one of the most well-known processed food (I know what you’re thinking, there are many, MANY processed foods out there. I’ll shut up in a moment): Granola bars! Now don’t get me wrong, I love them, but I know that there are so many more healthy things that can be packed in them if natural and mostly organic foods are packed into them as well.
Yay, zinc! Manganese! Magnesium! Riboflavin! Iron! Vitamin B6! Selenium! Thiamin! Phospherous!
And that’s just in the wheat germ! These things are PACKED with nutrition. I also got some dried cherries and dark chocolate in there. Dark chocolate has antioxidants. So, you can just say that you’re being healthy. While eating chocolate.
Lets go in order. Rolled oats, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, wheat germ. I don’t have a lot of time to describe them all in detail, but I will tell you to get them RAW, UNSALTED, and IF YOU CAN: organic. We are toasting them, cooking them! It takes fifteen minutes, and it will make your kitchen smell like heaven. Warm, toasty heaven.
Now for the dry ingredients. Simple, straight forward. Only difference? I bought the darkest of the dark brown sugar. It smells of wonderful molasses and is oh so pretty. This stuff makes this heaven. Oh, and honey. Yay honey.
Sticking all the now toasted oat mixture into the stirred wet ingredients while still warm helps to coat them. Its fun to mix them, you can mix them all you want, since gluten is not a feasible idea here.
I used dried cherries and bittersweet chocolate chips, and took the liberty to chop them all up nice and well. That way everything was nice and spread through. The chocolate melted nicely, so it was just all marbled through the mixture. Yum.
Make sure that your pan is very well greased!
And nicely pressed in.
Oh! And be sure to stack up your bars like this when your finished. Its very very important.
Good Eats Granola Bars: Clara’s Chocolate Cherry Variety
8 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats, approximately 2 cups
1 1/2 ounces raw sunflower seeds, approximately 1/2 cup
3 ounces sliced almonds, approximately 1 cup
1 1/2 ounces wheat germ, approximately 1/2 cup
6 ounces honey, approximately 1/2 cup
1 3/4 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/4 cup packed
1-ounce unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 ounces dried cherries, chopped
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and wheat germ onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.
Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week