Join the Party! The HotM Birthday Bash Is Just A Few Days Away!

Wow, I don't know about you, but this last month has passed in a blur. Today is the last day to participate in the Heart of the Matter - Eating for Life Birthday Bash! There's still time to participate if you want to get in the fun - you can find the full details here. Remember, there are prizes at stake for the best recipe and presentation - gift boxes from Italy or Hawaii full of wonderful goodies! You have until midnight (Hawaii time) tonight - well, really, you have until I wake up Monday morning if you'd like to whip up some delicious finger foods, snap a photo and send off your entry. Then just come on over to the party on March 18 - when the round-up is posted - and see what all your fellow heart-conscious food bloggers brought! After that, you'll have one week (until March 25th) to vote for your favorite entries. The two winners will be announced on the 26th.

But I wouldn't be a very good host if I didn't share with you my own entry, so here it is: Spiced Macadamia Nut Granola Bars - not so much party food, necessarily, but definitely to be eaten with your fingers! I try to stay away from store-bought granola bars - they often have odd ingredients and preservatives as well as high fructose corn syrup and loads of fat. I stay away from store-bought granola for the same reason, and because most of them are far too sweet for me. These little bars are a great snack or would make a good breakfast with some fruit on the side (say, a dainty little clementine or one half of a beautifully ripe papaya?) and a big glass of milk. They're not too sweet, lightly spiced and and full of good for your heart ingredients like flax seed, whole grains, nuts and fruit. Or heck, why not bring them to a party? See you on the 18th!

Spiced Macadamia Nut Granola Bars

cooking spray (for pan)
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup triticale (or spelt flakes, or more oats - whatever you have will be great)
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1 tsp. cardamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
3/4 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
3-4 slices crystalized ginger, finely chopped
8 dried figs, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dried bing cherries
1/4 cup dried, unsweetened coconut (I get this at my local natural foods store)
3 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup raw honey
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat your oven to 350F. Spray an 9"x 9" baking pan with cooking spray. Mix the oats, triticale, flax seeds, cardamon and allspice in a large bowl. Add the nuts, ginger, figs, cherries and coconut to the bowl and toss everything together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites and vanilla. In a small saucepan, heat the honey, maple syrup, coconut oil and salt over low heat until combined and the honey has melted. Add a little of the warm mixture to the eggs in a small stream, stirring constantly (you are tempering the eggs). Then add the egg mixture to the rest of the honey mixture in the saucepan. Add the contents of the saucepan to the bowl containing your oats and other goodies. Mix well, making sure to get all of the dry ingredients (like your spices and the flax) off the bottom of the bowl and in the mix. Spoon the mixture out into your baking pan and press down with your fingers or the back of a measuring spoon - pressing out to all the corners. The bars should be about 1/2" thick. Put the bars in the oven and cook about 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a rack. Cut into bars - you should get about 8-10 bars. I didn't have the right-sized pan and squeezed mine into 1/2 of a pyrex dish, so I'm not sure exactly how many you would get if you had the right pan ;)

6 comments from you:

Soma said...

Oh with the nts & cherries & nuts, this is irrestible!

Anita said...

Great looking granola bars - and even better since they're home-made with lovely ingredients.

Bella Baita View said...

These look fab, full of all the wonderful things I love. Gotta try em.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Ummmm, are you sure those are heart healthy;) ? They just look too wonderful . . . but I can't argue with those ingredients. How grand.

Michelle said...

Thanks to all for your very kind comments, and Miss Tanna, they may not be low-calorie or low fat but I assure you, it's all the good kind ;)

bee said...

this looks truly fantastic. i might try making a savoury version.