A while ago I decided to make fun of toast eaters. Then to my dismay I found out one of my lovely friends is actually a Toast-eater herself! Oh horrors, how could I have been so blind to this? Have I failed as a friend to let her suffer in toast-town for so long? So after some confrontation over pavlova and Christmas decorating, there was a stand-still. She was still ‘Toast’ but by then I’d ended up with the name ‘Oats’.
Then I made an iTunes playlist titled “Toast ‘n’ Oats”.
Alas, all I can do now is support her toast-eating till she sees the Light of Oatmeal. Oats. List the first 8 words that come to your mind-GO!
Oats… America… Pocahantas… racoon.. cow.. barn.. frog.. soap.
Sorry Toast-Eaters, I know you have feelings too so I’ll try to tone it down.
Unless you’re name is Sara. In which case you’re name is ‘Toast’.
or the next 2 years, whichever comes first.
These bars are golden, really a winner today. Breakfast with not one, but TWO kinds of oat forms! Double the enjoyment. And even a little visit from the cousin-Quinoa. Just in case you(re parents) have these hippie grains hanging out beside the chocolate chips, here’s probably one of the best ways to use them.
Quinoa Oat Granola Bars
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup steel cut oats
1/3 cup quinoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup finely chopped almonds, very very finely
1/4 cup peanut butter (or almond butter would work well here too)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon almond extract (I know that’s kind of a lot, this can be cut back or use vanilla instead if you’re not as crazy about almonds)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a pan (don’t recall the exact measurements here but use your best judgment here).
Combine wheat flour, oats, steel cut oats, quinoa, chopped almonds, cinnamon, salt, and cranberries in a large bowl. In another smaller bowl (I used a large liquid measuring cup) microwave the olive oil, peanut butter, syrup and almond extract for 20-25 seconds (the point here is to get it loose and ready to party with the dry ingredients, so just microwave till it’s happening). Pour over dry ingredients and combine (really, *clean* hands are best here). It will probably be dry, so if that’s the case add honey till things get more granola-y consistency. The mixture should be wet but not dripping peanut butter syrup here. Press into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 min till the edges are brown. Let cool 5 minutes then cut into squares (you want to do this while it’s still kind of warm) and then leave it alone till completely cooled. (or just *taste* it till it’s cool….)