Homemade granola bars with a Turkish twist…

So my darling middle sister is this granola bar making rock star. She has a science back ground and I think loves and I know is good at formulating new concoctions. I need to ask her for her pina colada granola bar recipe…mmm.mmm. lots of coconut and dried pineapple. (Megs can you be a guest poster, seriously?).

Ever since we went to Brazil and drank fresh shucked coconut water and coconut popsicles on the beach I think that white meaty nut is heaven.

My baby girl loved it too at 11 months…

I have been doing my own searching over the internet for a good granola bar recipe…and many call for maple syrup, corn syrup, rice syrup, brown sugar…never found here. The thing with living abroad is everything is not so easily at your fingertips as in the melting pot/convenience culture that is the United States of America. Well especially not in our little resort town of Didim.

On the plus side what you do find is usually seasonal(meaning found only at it’s peak of flavor-exception- you CAN find tomatoes and a few other staples grown in greenhouses during the winters here too), most is locally produced or at least locally meaning from within the country(not flown from Chile to MN). What many Americans are trying to get back in food Turkey has not lost, yet?

It’s a balance beam…there have been many times I screamed into my pillow for some freaking options.

That said limited resources fuel creativity.

It makes you get back to basics and understand where things come from, how they are made.

My sister tells me all you really need is a good glue anyways.

And let’s be serious… granola is about the most versatile recipe on the planet…

The nuts, dried fruits and honey are all amazing here so this is my adaption of Smitten Kitchen’s thick, chewy granola bars. She has tons of great recipes just search her site!

1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats (I use the Eti brand if you are in Turkey)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup oat flour (or 1/3 cup oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor or blender)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon(if you want)
3 cups dried fruits and nuts (total of 10 to 15 ounces)

I used almonds, hazelnuts, sesame, and coconut

1/3 cup peanut butter or another nut butter (I used tahini which is sesame paste)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, haven’t found that here either)
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup honey(nice amount of honey, not overpowering)
2 tablespoons pekmez (This is a dark molasses made from grapes or mulberries)
1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 350 F or 175 C.

Mix the above dry ingredients in a large bowl, The bottom wet ingredients mix in a smaller bowl.

Combine all well.

Layer an 8×8 inch(20x20cm) pan with parchment that goes up the sides and grease it all up. The pan and the parchment. Bake from 15-40 minutes(very vague but see below)

I didn’t have parchment although you can find it here. I just layed my mixture out on my broiler pan/cookie sheet thing. Looked like a huge cookie. I cooked it for only 15 minutes as my edges started to burn and I think my oven runs hot…trimmed my edges off and they were a hit!

So I know I am a bad blogger when I don’t have the whole process documented or at least the finished project but…

I translated this recipe to Turkish(pretty much by myself thank you!) Oatmeal-yulaf ezmesi isn’t used very much in Turkey but was happy to share this nutritional ingredient with my Turkish neighbors! As this place has taught me so very much!

When you don’t always have the right words pictures work too…in translating this I learned the words for bowl, melted…lots of good stuff…


How would you like to get a hand written recipe?

I ball just about everytime I get a handwritten letter from my mom in the mail. Not only does she have a way with words but her nostalgic cursive(who writes in cursive these days?-just my lovely mother)

In a time when everything is on the computer…don’t get me wrong there is some gorgeous fonts out there it is so special to see it written, illustrated. I appreciate these little things in life.

Do you?

Do you covet your grandmother’s handwritten recipes?(we do for the little green house project) Who has all of gram’s? And the love letters from the war?

Do you want to see my sister guest posting her recipes on here? Maybe I can figure out how to do a free printout? hmmmm…she has great handwriting too…

ok quick self…get off this lovely time sucker named the computer and go do your yoga before your two year old wakes up (sometimes one needs to write to oneself)!


11 thoughts on “Homemade granola bars with a Turkish twist…

  1. This post was timely in so many ways. 1st, I just made made stuffed mushrooms (my grandmother’s “recipe”…a little of this, pinch of that…) which are one of my specialties too and they came out so badly! Was cursing the need to substitute my ingredients with local and homemade things (my first attempt at breadcrumbs…not good!…and no romano cheese). It’s so true that this place forces you to be creative in cooking. That said, I leave the pazar feeling all inspired and excited to cook, which is fun and cooking makes me feel at home, even when I’m not feeling “at home” in Turkey. 2nd, I was just writing my beautiful grandmother a letter for her birthday (and mailing her a headscarf with gorgeous oya trim!). From the time I was a baby she’s always written long letters in cursive with cute little illustrations, even now that i’m 32. Every time I get one I cry… but they’re nice tears and make me feel lucky to have such a loving grandma. Hope you squeezed your yoga in! šŸ™‚

    • Caroline, I am usually quite good too at pinches of this and that but yes the substituting and improvising makes for some interesting creations- sometimes good and sometimes not! I have been making some really awesome croutons lately- so easy so i will post about them next time I do…super easy and way better than the store bought. How’s your oven though? Your grandmother sounds so very special! I too feel blessed by an amazing family! It is so hard when they are so far away but letters and drawings can be magic!

  2. I wonder whether the cooking time has something to do with having the “wrong” type of syrup? Just made two attempts at flapjacks, one with a mix of honey and pekmez instead of golden syrup and one with just honey, both would have burnt to a crisp if I’d left them in for the recipe’s stated time! Or maybe it’s just hot here and our ovens are overheating! As for grandmothers, mine are all gone but I have a treasured recipe book from 1964 covered in my grandma’s handwritten notes… Decided that I will definitely make handwritten notes in all my recipe books from now on!

    • Laura, Found your comment, wordpress had spammed it? Good point…maybe the syrups? Everything is just a little different isn’t it? Is that your English or your american grandmother’s? Are the measurements different and such? Either way so special! Also a tip from my mother is to randomly put your children’s drawings and I love you notes in your cookbooks for occasional heart melting surprises.

  3. Em I love this one so much, good for you on the translation and yes we need to get a granola and granola bar business started. Love you

  4. so will try this immediately : ) my favorite thing is granola and I am always very specific about what’s in it and what’s not! always find something to pick out : ) so your recipe (and translated in turkish!) will help me learn how to make my own!!! Thank you! Well actually; “ellerine saglik”! and love your hand-writing by the way : )


    • Hope you enjoy Deniz. Granola is so fun because it is so versatile! Hope my turkish translation is ok. It is a bit vague compared to the english version but I did my best:)

    • You are right…those tadim bars are definitively granola bars. I remember having one and thinking they were just ok. Like most things homemade this recipe is really so much better! Hope you try it and enjoy!

  5. Pingback: Salad dressing recipe…and the secret ingredient is??? | Health to your Hands

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