25 January 2012

Consumer Anarchy: Granola Protein Bars

You all know how much I love being a consumer anarchist. When I make something myself, or find alternatives to what I have been told I need, I feel like I've taken on "the man" in a huge way. As these granola bars baked, I sat at the kitchen table with receipts and recipes in hand, a calculator, and a grin. I discovered the following:

Kashi Granola Bars (which I usually buy) cost a whopping $0.67 per bar. 

These little puppies? Half the price. Just $0.37 a bar to make...and they make 12 bars instead of the 6 you get when you purchase at the store.

Not only are you saving yourself a lot of mula by making them at home, but you are also saving your health. Next time you dig into a store-bought granola bar (and after reading this, I really hope you don't...) read that ingredients label. You'll find that that health bar isn't all it is cracked up to be, especially if you purchase Quaker or other cheaper brands.

These are a whole food, the only thing in them, are the simple ingredients you are about to read. And that just makes them taste that much better.

John's response to the granola bar? "Very tasty! And I love knowing exactly what's in it!"

For this recipe, I used Healthy Green Kitchen's suggestions and a swap out of my own when I didn't want to pay $18 a pound for hemp seeds. ($18 a pound?!?!) Also, see her site for the nutritional info on this bar!

Homemade Granola Protein Bars
Makes 12 bars

2 1/2 cups raw oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup organic natural peanut butter
1/2 cup Greek strained yogurt (I love Fage)
1/4 cup whole flax seeds
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
a sprinkle of nutmeg
1 tsp salt (or a little less if your PB is a little saltier than some others)
1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 325.

2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl (if the PB is a little hard, you can microwave it for a few seconds to get it melty.

3. Oil a 7x11 glass pan (this size worked best for me to cut the bars into the shape I like, but you can use an 8x8 too.) Press the granola into the pan evenly.

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool, cut, and wrap in cellophane. I keep mine in the refrigerator to keep them from getting too crumbly.

Are there any health foods you refuse to buy because of the mark up?

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