In the Pantry Challenge video series, Lauren Braun Costello -- chef, author and food stylist -- shows busy moms how to make meals using ingredients they already have in their pantries, solving their unique cooking challenges. In this episode, Lauren shows Jennifer C., a mother of two and a PR professional, how to make an easy and healthy snack for her son using currants. Her recipe? Chewy granola bars.
To begin, Lauren mixes together her dry ingredients in a bowl: quick oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, salt, currants and chopped apricots. Feel free to be creative with this part -- you can also add coconut, nuts or other dried fruit.
Next, Lauren moves on to the wet ingredients. (These are mixed in a separate bowl to ensure they're well-mixed before being combined with the dry ingredients.) The combination of honey and maple syrup makes things sticky and sweet, while vegetable oil contributes necessary fat. Vanilla extract lends a heady perfume to the bars.
She pours the wet ingredients into the dry, then mixes until all of the oats are saturated. When the granola is ready, Lauren lines a baking pan with parchment paper (this will keep the bars from sticking) and presses the granola into the pan. After baking, cut into bars and you're ready to eat.
Get the Recipe for Granola Bars.