Apple Pecan Granola Bars

As I was looking over the pictures for the is post I found myself a bit incredulous that my day included this much kitchen activity, but I swear it did! We woke up this morning and it was quite dreary and rainy and we were all sleepy and wanted to stay in our PJ’s. Izzie and I started re-organizing her room while Jaime did..well, I’m not sure, I was too immersed in the swallowing mess of my 4.5 year old. I needed fuel. Enter the coolest tool ever;

Ah, the silicone egg poaching cup, the best tool ever invented because without it my poached eggs would be sloshy messes. Instead I had a lovely breakfast.

Doesn’t that look divine? Oh wait…something’s missing…that’s right! BACON!!!

Just a little now, lets not plug those arteries. This is local applewood smoked bacon too, a little goes a long way.

After breakfast I decided I needed to make more of a dent in that gigantic bag of Ginger Gold’s so I decided on homemade applesauce;

Homemade Applesauce!

10-12 apples, peeled, cored and chunked (enough to fill your crockpot)

1/4 cup water

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

2 Tbsp vanilla

1/4 tsp nutmeg

Dump it all in the crockpot, turn it on high and leave it, stirring occasionally, until it looks totally delicious and you can’t stand it anymore and have to eat it (about 6-8 hrs)

I don’t add sweetener to my applesauce but you certainly could if you wanted, though it really doesn’t need it with all those yummy spices. While the applesauce was cooking away I got distracted and decided to make granola bars, inspired by this post. I made them gluten free though for the little one, and I changed the recipe quite a bit.

Apple Pecan Granola Bars

Heat 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil in a large pot over medium heat. When oil is hot add 1 cup dry millet and 2 cups rolled oats (I used gluten-free). Toast over medium heat until golden, stirring frequently, about 7-10 minutes.

Add 4 cups water and 2 peeled apples, grated finely. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, simmer uncovered until almost all the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

While the mixture is cooking measure out 1 Tbsp chia seed and 2 Tbsp flax seed into a glass measuring cup and add 1/2 cup water. Leave to gel (about 20 minutes) stirring once or twice. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and toast 1 cup pecans until golden.

Once the millet and oat mixture is done cooking, take it off the heat and let it cool a little. Chop the toasted pecans. In a medium saucepan heat 1/4 cup raw honey and 1 Tbsp vanilla until the honey just simmers. Add the toasted pecans and stir.

Into the millet and oat mixture goes the honey-pecan yumminess and the chia-flax gel. Stir, stir, stir. I added 2 tsp xanthum gum for added binding but I am sure it would be fine without it. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and spread the mixture out evenly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool a bit (don’t turn the oven off!) then cut into 14 bars and flip the bars over. Bake for another 20-30 minutes or until golden.

These are so, so good..the apple adds a nice sweetness, the millet a great crunch, and overall the whole bar is nutty and toasty, a little chewy, a little crunchy.

And the best part? These bars are huge and the nutrition facts are;

Calories: 115 (no joke!!), Fat: 6.1 g (0.5 Saturated, 0 Trans), no cholesterol or sodium, Carbs: 14.9 g (2.2 g fiber, 7.3 g sugars), Protein: 2.1 grams.

They were so good we had to have a tea party.

Tomorrow my class ends and I have a two week break! Whoo-hoo!!! Oh wait, I have to pack the house 😦

And…Project C.U.E. rolls out tomorrow and I am kind of nervous, crossing my fingers that all goes well!