Galen Weston Jr
. of the Loblaws grocery chain here in Canada. He is often maligned
for his hokey ads
for new President's Choice products that paint him as an everyman who just gets really excited about premade cheesecakes when in actual fact he took over the 9 billion dollar Loblaws Companies Limited from dear old Dad.
However in talking to friends I notice there is a growing underground fangirl movement for the man. As evidenced by the hubs I obviously have a thing for nerds and Galen (often in argyle sweaters - especially in their holiday ads) talking about the new Presidents Choice products
is just the ticket for me. In fact when I'm off to our local Loblaws Superstore I often yell out that "I'm off to see my boyfriend Galen" while hubs rolls his eyes.
While I'm usually more than happy to pay for the convenience of their fantastic ready made products it irks me how much granola and energy bars cost (anywhere from $2.49 to $4 a box with 6 to 8 bars) plus the amount of packaging makes me feel a bit sick.
Added to that a huge list of ingredients
, including some I can't even pronounce and I was ready to break up with Galen once and for all!
One of my favourite bloggers (seriously check out her kitchen reno posts - GORGEOUS) recently posted a recipe for granola bars
and a homemade version of Larabars
that were drool worthy. Meanwhile the dance company
I work for was deep in rehearsals and I thought taking some healthy snacks to the dancers would be much appreciated. I decided to double up the recipe to feed 10 hard working dancers and try it out.
Sadly I realized once I'd already started melting honey and butter that I was out of dried apricots and raisins. However with the clock ticking and rehearsal looming I decided to use Shutterbean's ratio of sweeteners and butter with what I had on hand. It fast became an excuse to clean out my pantry and use what I did have - dates, dried ginger, coconut and some leftover cashews.
What a success they were! They were delicious and those hungry boys gobbled them up! I've since bought a huge bag of apricots and more dates and can't wait to continue playing with the combinations of dried fruits, nuts and seeds. They are so easy I'll never buy packaged granola bars again and they make the house smell delicious. My only suggestion is to let them cool almost completely before cutting them. When I tried cutting them after waiting only 30 minutes they started to fall apart.
Melting butter (or margarine), dark brown sugar and some creamy honey.
Nutty Ginger Date Granola Bars
Makes 24 bars
¾ cup butter or vegan margarine (in this batch I used an olive oil based margarine as there were some vegans in the company)
1 cup honey
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup cashews chopped (mine were leftover from Christmas so were salted - but I love a little salt in my sweet)
½ cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped dates
¾ cup finely chopped candied ginger
2 tbsps flax seed
¼ cup wheat germ
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line an 9 x 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a large saucepan, melt butter with honey and brown sugar. In a large bowl mix the oats, dried fruits & nuts with the wheat germ. Pour the sugar/honey mixture into the dried goods and stir thoroughly.
Firmly press the granola mixture into your prepared baking pan - I used a metal spatula and all my strength - and bake for 45 minutes. Let cool and cut into bars.
How yummy is this?
Or how yummy are they?