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granola bars for breakfast

1 July 2011

Breakfast is, unequivocally, my favorite meal of the day. I wake up every morning thinking about my imminent bowl of oatmeal. In fact, the first thing I do once conscious is put some oats on the stove, and only then do I stumble through my morning routine (make bed, brush teeth, occasionally brush hair but don’t count on it, clean litterbox, feed cat, sweep kitchen for the first of many many times that day, water plants, boil water for tea), all the while impatiently awaiting their completion. Then I mix in some stevia, some cardamom, a whole lot of cinnamon, and take the steaming bowl + steeped tea outside to my “breakfast nook” where I leisurely enjoy them and sometimes even let myself read fiction. It’s heavenly.

Did I mention that all of this takes place between 5:30 and 6 am? You see, that’s the only time span nowadays where being outside here can be described as anything other than “insane.” Thus, this is also the only time of day when it’s feasible to do the other things that I enjoy — maybe even more than oatmeal — such as, say, riding. Which means that my breakfast-schedule and my barn-schedule sometimes conflict.

granola bars


This was all just an excessively long-winded way of introducing the solution I schemed up in the form of portable, hassle-free, eat-in-the-car-at-5-am breakfast bars (after rejecting — though admittedly not before entertaining longer than might be ordinarily considered rational — the idea of waking up at 4:30 for my oatmeal). Chewy but texture-ful and just a bit crispy on the edges, packed with good things (including, of course, oats), not too sweet, and hearty enough to get me through a long morning at the barn without being heavy.

Breakfast “Granola” Bars

scant 1/2 cup bulgur
1 cup water

1 cup quick oats
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup almond meal
2 tbsp oat flour
2 tbsp wheat germ
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp cinnamon

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp brown rice syrup

Bring 1 cup water to boil. Add bulgur and turn down heat. While the bulgur is cooking, preheat oven to 350º, grease two loaf pans (or an 8×8 pan if you have one for slightly thicker bars), and combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. When the bulgur is fluffy and almost all the liquid is absorbed, remove from heat and add the rest of wet ingredients to the pot; mix to combine. Add wet to dry, mix well, and press into prepared pans. Should be slightly sticky; add more brown rice syrup if it’s not sticking together (or if you just want sweeter bars — these aren’t very sweet at all). Bake for ~25 min, or until just slightly brown around the edges. They’ll be really crumbly at first, so let cool for at least 10 min before cutting into bars. Makes 8 big breakfast-sized or 16 snack-sized bars.

granola bars

mmm, texture-rific!

This “recipe” was the result of rummaging through my cupboard/fridge, dumping various things — mostly the things I was almost out of — in various bowls, mixing ’em all together, and hoping for the best. So, consider it more a loose set of guidelines than a rule, I’d say. I like the chewiness of the bulgur, though I bet they’d be even better with some chopped nuts in there for crunch, and maybe some toasted coconut? Dried fruit? Play around!

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