I knew it had to be done. I was running out of containers and routinely transferring seldom used contents to Ziploc bags. It had become hazardous to open the pantry door as you would never know what would knock you down. My husband refused to go for grocery shopping and advised me to shop from the pantry instead. My mom has been visiting me and though she didn’t comment on the dilapidated state of my pantry, I could see it in her eyes. How could my daughter be so unorganized? Where did I go wrong? My kids were sympathizing with me; they knew how easily things could go out of hand. I had stopped pestering them to tidy up their rooms, and they were bestowing upon me awards such as ‘Best Mom Ever’ and ‘Coolest Mom on Earth’. I even heard them bragging to their friends how they had succeeded in reforming me.
But the final nudge came from a fellow blogger who was announcing Blog Bites #4 : Whats lurking in the kitchen edition. I divided my counter space into sections and started emptying out contents of my pantry. My goal was not to throw away anything (unless it had gone bad or smelling rancid) and to use up staples that were either precariously close to expiry date or were lingering for a long time from previous kitchen experiments. Among other things, I found a couple of cups of rolled oats, handful of dates, box of wheat germ and a bottle of crystallized honey begging to be claimed. Feeling empowered by Goddess Annapurna, I started browsing internet for inspiration. Google search came to the rescue and a recipe from Smitten Kitchen saved the Pantry.
I made some changes to the original recipe as I restricted myself to use pantry ingredients only. The original recipe called for shredded coconut which I didn’t have on hand, so I omitted it. Since I used two tablespoons of salted butter, I didn’t add any salt to the bars.
Makes 12 to 16 granola bars
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup wheat germ
2/3 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped dates. Original recipe called for 1 ½ cups dried fruit
Preheat your oven to 300°F. Line a 8 x 8 or 9 ×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
On a medium low heat toast wheat germs till fragrant. Keep aside.
In the same pan toast oats and almonds till lightly browned. Keep aside.
In the same pan melt butter. Add honey, vanilla, dates and toasted ingredients. Turn off the heat and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into prepared baking dish and press with wet fingers till the mixture is packed as tightly as possible.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until light golden brown. Cool for 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares.
These chewy nutrition packed granola bars provided an energy boost to my kids during their ballgames.