Oat’s ‘n’ Toast…Quinoa Oat Granola Bars

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’.

Probably forever.

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….)

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