Peach Walnut Granola Bars
Continuing with the Mark Bittman theme, I made granola bars last night based on the ones in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I’m not sure why I felt the pressing need to do so; I’m sure we have a giant Sam’s Club box of Quaker Chewy Granola Bars in the basement and I like those just fine. But the recipe really intrigued me, so I went for it.
Bittman offers several variations on his No Bake Granola Bar recipe, and I combined a couple of them. It should be mentioned at this juncture (its surprising that it hasn’t come up sooner, really) that I am pretty close to obsessed with peaches and peach flavored things. So, given all the options, I had to select dried peaches as my fruit of choice, but any dried fruit will work. Now, without further ado,
1/4 cup oil (I used Canola; Bittman recommends grapeseed or corn)
2 and 1/4 cups granola (whatever looks good to you, I used the plainest I could find)
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped (granola and nuts combined should total 3 cups; adjust amounts to taste)
1 and 1/2 cups dried peaches (or other dried fruit)
1. Using a food processor, combine the peaches and oil until smooth. Add water as necessary to achieve this. I felt like I needed to add a lot of water to get my peaches to form something close to smooth. I’ll spare you the photo, because it doesn’t look appetizing.
2. Warm the peach mixture in a small saucepan on the stove so that it becomes even softer.
3. Mix the granola and walnuts in a large bowl. Add the peach mixture a bit at a time and coat all the granola.
4. Press into an 8 or 9-inch square pan with your fingers. Trust me, I tried pressing them with the spatula and they did not stick together.
5. Cool in the refrigerator. Cut into squares and enjoy.
They’re pretty tasty. I don’t eat cereal, so I’m thinking this is going to be breakfast for the next few days. I’m already brainstorming the other variations I want to try–apples, chocolate, cranberries, coconut…