So I told myself after a busy weekend that I would come home after work on Monday and write this post. But Monday just was not my day. It was one of those days where I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. The day started with waiting for two hours in the morning for the Schornsteinfeger to come. I will save you the Google search and tell you the translation – chimney sweeper, which means the man who comes and checks that the gas and heating set up is functioning correctly in the apartment. Apparently, the way it works here in Germany is a little tiny note gets posted on the building front door with a time frame window during which the Schornsteinfeger will come by. No designated time and appointment available for planning, just a two hour window of waiting. That is Germany. Well two hour wait later and still no Schornsteinfeger. Toll. Great. Then just before heading to work, I get a phone call from Ivo who is at the “Anmeldungsamt” registering us in our new city because we just moved to another city and Germany. You must always register the address at which you live. I gave Ivo a written letter of permission to have the power of authority to register me on my behalf. Nope that was not sufficient. Of course there is a special, designated form to be filled out in order to give someone the authorization to register you on your behalf. Again that is Germany for ya. There is a form for everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. So finally I am walking out the door to be on my way to work and what do you know, the tram is not running. I just resigned then that it was one of those days, the world was laughing at me and I had to laugh along too.
Enough of that. Rant over.
There is more important stuff, such as this granola bar recipe. My mom has been asking me to send her the recipe for a while now. Oopsy. Here it is Ma! This has become my go to afternoon snack or breakfast now for the past two weeks. I have been missing good granola bars for awhile now. One of the many things I miss from the US. I had never been able to find equally good ones in the grocery store and finally had the genius idea to make them myself. Err duh! I have no idea why it took me so long to come to that conclusion. I usually attempt to make what I can from scratch. Naturally after I found the perfect recipe for granola bars, I stumbled across some new really delicious, all-natural ones in the supermarket! Again the world was playing a little joke on me. Although, it did make me really excited to find these in Germany. It is the little things in life that bring me happiness. It made me proud of the little German supermarket moving up in the world with its fancy all natural granola bars.
But now I have a delicious recipe for making natural, healthy, and fresh granola bars every week! I looked at heaps of recipes, but many of them just had a shocking amount of sugar in them. So I tried to find a more natural way to sweeten them and to cut back on some of the added sugar. Dates were the key in doing this. I was quite skeptical at first about how the dates would taste, but it turned out fantastic! I hope you enjoy them too! Feel free to try all kinds of different add ins. I think dried cherries and coconut would be great, Or apricots and pistachios. Or dried cherries and dark chocolate. Or apricots and white chocolate. Basically just be sure there is chocolate in them.
Let me know what flavor combos you come up with!
Healthy, Homemade Granola Bars Recipe
1 1/2 cups (132 g) oats, toasted (optional)
3/4 cups (85 g) almonds, toasted
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup (63 g) dried dates
1 cup (45 g) puffed wheat
3 T (50 g) peanut butter
2 T (40 g) honey
1/4 cup (30 g) milk chocolate chunks (or chips)
First toast the oats and almonds on at 350 F (177 C) for 8-12 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned. Put almonds in large mixing bowl, along with half of the oats. Add the other half of the oats to a food processor and blend until a flour consistency. Then add to bowl. Place dates and water together in food processor and blend until smooth. A kind of paste should be formed.
Place peanut butter and honey together in small pot and heat on stove over low heat until melted. Stir to combine honey and peanut butter as heating. Add the puffed wheat, date paste, and honey/almond mix to the bowl. Mix all ingredients together until well combined. Lastly, stir in chocolate chunks.
Line an 8 x 8 inch baking pan or other small pan with parchment paper or grease with butter. Then pour in the granola and firmly press evenly into pan. Be sure to really use your strength to press those granola bars in there tightly, so that they will hold together.
Bake granola bars for 15-20 minutes at 350 F (177 C). Cool and eat up. Or pack up for an awesome snack.