Incorporating whole grains in granola bars?
I've been dabbling with granola bars recently, and so far I'm pretty happy with the results - I've been using a basic recipe for a "playdate bar" which is non-corn syrup, mix the dry, add the wet, bake it up, standard version.
So far I've tried throwing in some raw rinsed quinoa - comes out pretty well, and raw millet - comes out pretty hard and uncooked tasting.
So does anyone know the optimal way to use whole grains? EG would you cook barley, toast it, then use it? That seems like it would be mushy. Just toast a grain? - seems like, as with the millet, it would be too hard and raw for the ~30 min baking time of the bars.
Commercial bars seem to use puffed grains - is that the way to go? In which case do I need to buy puffed grains, or is there a way to do this at home?
Thanks for any thoughts. I want to make something that will really fill up my kids, with good whole grains, but not be as chemical and sugar laden as commercial brands. I also enjoy making it myself even if there are some pretty good commercial ones out there, like Kashi . . .
I don't try to imitate the commercial ones but use oats, wheat germ , sometimes bits of leftover cooked grains ( i like wheatberries for the chewiness) and sometimes commercial brown rice krispies. And chopped nuts .
When I make homemade granola, I include some uncooked oat bran or malt-o-meal type hot cereal mixed in it to give some extra fiber. Wonder if that would do the trick in the granola bars?
I thought I remembered reading about puffed quinoa in granola, so I tried googling, but I can't actually find instructions for puffing it (except that you do it the way you would rice). It seems like it's sold already puffed though...
I'm actually making granola bars right now and I just used oats for grains, but I dumped flax and chia seeds in, hoping that they will both help them hold together and add some omega-3's.