Fancy a sweet treat? James has cooked up the ultimate granola squares to give you that sweet fix (with only some of the guilt).
Maple Granola Bars
Now, I hear you ask…are these granola bars healthy? Well, they are mostly oats which help regulate blood sugar by slowly releasing energy. Almonds & Cranberries are high in vitamins, so yes we will all agree they are!
They make a perfect rushing out the door breakfast or as a mid-morning snack.
- 60g whole almonds
- 250g rolled oats
- 80g butter
- 125ml maple syrup
- 60g soft brown sugar
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 50g dried cranberries
- 50g chocolate chips
- extra 2 tsp choc chips
- Before you start, take a 20cm square baking pan and line it with tin foil. Then using some oil and kitchen roll, lightly grease it.
- Start by roughly chopping the almonds, they don’t have to be perfect just a rough chop. Combine them with the oats and pop in the preheated oven for about 8 minutes. Half way through give them a little stir so they cook evenly.
- Meanwhile, combine the butter, maple syrup and the sugar along with the vanilla and salt in a saucepan and gently heat until it has all melted together into a sugary, buttery, syrupy liquid which smells divine (and is definitely the unhealthier part)!
- Once the oats and almonds are cooked put them in a glass bowl and then add the liquid. Mix well and leave for about 10 minutes to cool.
- Finally add the chocolate and the cranberries again mix well.
- Now pour the oat mix into the foiled pan and pack down really well. Go on – really push that mix into the corners using a fish slice or something similar, and really pack it down. Add a sprinkling of chocolate chips and pack down again.
- Cover tightly with more foil and then pop in the fridge for at least 3 hours (but preferably overnight if you can wait that long).
Bit of troubleshooting here, but if anything makes them fall apart a bit it’s usually either not packing down enough, or not refrigerating for long enough, so try and be patient!
Once they have hardened, they will unwrap from the foil easily and can be cut into about 12 pieces (or less if you want bigger bars!)
Any crumbs left over from cutting can be saved and makes an excellent topping for vanilla ice cream.