Mango Coco Chewy Granola Bars

I know I always say my recipes are easy..but this time it could not be more true as I made them barely awaken, in the middle of the night, using the ingredients I had at hand.

If you want to know first why I started cooking at so queer an hour, here is the story. If not, the recipe is at the end of the post!

Last Saturday, I went to bed early because I had planned on playing at an amateur beach-volleyball tourney and thus get up at 8am the day after. I had been sleeping for about an hour when my phone rang: my sister on the line, locked outside her place, asking if she could come and stay over… what would you not do for your sister, right?

So I got up, made the bed for her..and then found myself not really knowing what to do next. I did not want to go back to sleep from fear not to hear her ring at the door but I was losing precious hours of sleep. So, I decided I was going to make myself an energetic snack for the day after. I could feel it would be much needed!

This is how I tried making my first homemade granola bars. I browsed a few recipes online, made a mix of them, chose the easiest process..and the one for which I had all the ingredients at home (when cooking at 2am, that’s always the way to go).

Good thing the granola bars turned out good..because the rest of my Sunday did not : I got lost on the way and arrived an hour late, it was pouring and freezing cold and to make it worse all other teams were way better than us.  But I had a good time, and a good story to laugh about! Still, good thing I had these snacks, for myself and others to light up the day!

Ingredients:

2 cups quick-cooking oats

1/2 cup aunt jemina syrup (honey is healthier..but I did not have any at the time)

3 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts

5 dried mangoes

You’ll notice it does not really matter which kind of cup you use..I usually don’t count in cups but use metric system. However, that night, I did not feel like measuring, so I simply measured the ingredients with a cup of tea.

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a square pan (20*25 cm)

2. Pour the syrup in a pan and add the brown sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and remove from the heat.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, the syrup, the coconut, the nuts, the mangoes cut into small pieces. Don’t be afraid to use your hands to blend ingredients together.

4. Slightly dampen your hands with cold water so that your palms don’t stick to the mix. Then take the mix out of the bowl and press it firmy and evenly in the pan.

5. Bake for 15-25 mn, depending if you like your bars chewy or crunchy. I like them chewy, so I let them bake for 15mn only, until they were lightly brown just around the edges.

6. Cool the dish until at room temperature. To make the bars easier to cut, you can even freeze them a little.

7. Cut bars 2cm*8cm, store in an airtight container.

I actually think it takes less time making these homemade granola bars, than chosing from all the possible brands & varieties at the supermarket. Plus, you kow what they are made with and you can customize them exactly the way you want…Mine are Mango-Coconut-Maple syrup, but the recipe is pretty flexible…any ideas?

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