Solving snack-time cravings

You know that 5-o-clock-urge? The one that makes you want to grab something crunchy or indulge in some vada pav at the gaadi by the street. The one that leaves you craving for something crunchy or even sugary that will see you through dinner time? That’s the one I’m talking about.

I’m not so much of a lunch person, except over the weekends, because at work I try to eat as light as I can so I don’t feel sluggish. But this craving I get early evening, by God! It is the worst. Ever. So I was looking for some healthy snacking options. And these days I carry stuff like kurmura with peanuts, sprouts with a dressing of bhelpuri chutney or even some fruits to satisfy this craving. But sometimes I want to eat something sweet during this time, just so the sugar rush gives me enough energy to cope with the rest of the evening. I’m not a fan of sweets so I was looking for some more options and I found my answer in the form of these yummy granola bars.

Now I’ve always bought granola bars from the store. I know it isn’t very difficult to make one, I’ve seen it on Nigella’s show but I didn’t know just how easy it was. I’ve made mine a couple of times now and each time I’ve done something very different. Some of the combinations I’ve used with oats as a base are: Cashews, mixed seeds, cranberries and almonds and the next time I used mixed seeds, lemon zest and sundried apples. We loved each of these variations and I’m looking to experiment a little more to add more varieties to my kitty! These bars are ridiculously easy to make and you can easily store them for up to a week in airtight containers.

Granola bars

2 1/2 cups of quick cooking oats (I used Quakers)
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup of water
1tbsp of canola or olive oil
1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
A handful each of cashewnuts, almonds – crushed
1 tbsp of flaxseeds roasted
1 tsp of lemon zest

Mix the nuts, flaxseeds, lemon zest, cinnamon powder and oats together until they are evenly distributed. Now add the sugar to this and mix well.

Slowly add the milk and oil to this and keep mixing through, gradually add the water to the mixture and keep mixing until you get it to a consistency which is a little drier than cookie dough.

Spread a portion of the dough on the surface of a greased, lined baking tin to 1/2 inch thickness. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes at 160 degrees till it is golden and just about crisp. Remove from the oven and immediately score out the portions of the granola bar with a knife. Allow it to cook down completely and then break it into pieces. Store in ziplock bags or in an airtight container.

* You can add some wheat bran or wheatgerm to the granola to make it a little more nutty.

* If you want to avoid the sugar then go in for a mashed banana or some applesauce for the sweetness

* You can crumble this granola and store in a jar, whenever you need a quick fix breakfast option place some of these in a bowl, top with fresh curds and some fruit, drizzle honey and you’re done! 


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