I currently live in Charlotte, NC and after spending 7 years as a personal chef and caterer, I am now happy to share my love of cooking with friends and family. My heart is in the kitchen, but my soul is in the stars!

Grab and Go Granola: Perfect for Breakfast On The Run

I'm stepping out of the closet just long enough to admit that I have a huge girl crush on Nigella Lawson. She is voluptuously beautiful, her show is one of the very few cooking shows worth watching on Food Network, and she has a fabulous granola bar recipe. What more could you want in a relationship?

I struggle to find things that qualify as a healthy breakfast and can also be made ahead and taken to the office during the week. I tire easily of the same rotation of breakfast selections that I already have and these were a welcome addition. I served them with yogurt and fresh fruit. I'll admit to indulging in them as an afternoon snack as well (truth be known, I scarfed down all 16 bars within a weeks time!) They stayed fresh in a sealed container for the whole week. I'm thinking these would make an excellent after-school snack for the kiddies as well.

These bars were very easy to put together (I adapted Nigella's original recipe, found here, to make use of what I had on hand), but they do require about an hour to bake. The instructions say to cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then cut into bars. I highly recommend doing just that ~ I was busy taking a nap during those 15+ minutes and it was like blasting concrete out of a baking dish when I finally got around to taking them out a few hours later. I'm betting they would have still been pretty pliable after 15 minutes.

You make me swoon, Nigella, and your granola bars are the BOMB. Muah!

Grab & Go Granola Bars
inspired by Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson

1 14 fluid oz can condensed milk
1-1/4 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1-1/4 Rice Krispie cereal
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup dried berries or raisins (I used a combination of dried cranberries, dried cherries, and dried strawberries)
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup unsalted, dry roasted peanuts

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees and oil a 9- x 13-inch baking pan or just use a disposable aluminum foil one.

2. Warm the condensed milk in a large pan.

3. Meanwhile, mix all the other ingredients together and add the warmed condensed milk, using a rubber spatula to fold and distribute.

4. Spread the mixture into the oiled or foil pan and press down with a spatula or, better still, your hands (wearing those disposable latex CSI gloves to stop you from sticking) to make the surface even.

5. Bake for 1 hour, remove, and after about 15 minutes, cut into four across and four down, to make 16 chunky bars. Let cool completely.

Makes 16

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Scott Hepburn said...

You're at least the third woman I've heard confess to a girl crush on Nigella Lawson lately. Too funny.

I'm with ya on the healthy breakfast struggle. I love granola during the cold months, and I love the idea of homemade granola bars. One of my clients is a snack food company that makes a chocolate/cranberry/almond snack mix...I've been dying to add their mix to a granola recipe (or maybe oatmeal cookies?). I may have to steal this recipe from you!