You might hear the phrase “Go Local” and not know exactly what that means. Dine local? Shop local? Yes and yes. It also means growing your own food and supporting your local farmers. Where should you start? Well, it depends on where you live. Do you have a local farmers’ market? If so, head there for fresh produce instead of hitting your regular supermarket. Going out to eat? Do a little research and find out which restaurants in your area use local ingredients and dine there to show your support. Let them know you appreciate their effort.
In the Philadelphia area we are fortunate enough to have Philly Homegrown, an initiative of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation. They promote chefs, restaurants, farms and flavors of the region’s 100-mile foodshed. Their site is a wealth of information on everything you would want to know about how to go local. They recently reached out to me and a few other local bloggers to raise awareness of some of the amazing products that this area has to offer. You can see a list of all of the goodies we received in my friend Allie’s post on All I Eat Food.
There were so many great products to experiment with but one stole the show. We each received a package of Metropolitan Bakery Granola. Once I found out that they were recently named the best granola in the country I knew I had to work with their product to come up with a fun, easy and healthy snack. Around that time I spotted several recipes for no-bake granola bars. Less work with the same great taste sounds like a wonderful recipe to me.
Founded in 1993, Metropolitan Bakery is the brainchild of pastry chef James Barrett and former restaurant manager Wendy Smith Born. The two met while working at local food landmark White Dog Cafe. Today, the bakery boasts five locations around the city, all known for their artisan, old-world European creations like flour-dusted organic miche, crusty baguettes and round cracked-wheat loaves. Their hand-made granola is created with 100% pure fruits, nuts, seeds, grains and spices and comes in three varieties – original, coffee chocolate chip and nut-free cinnamon pomegranate.
The bars were incredibly easy to make. I stored them in a sealed container. They stayed fresh for a few days. I am sure they would stay fresh a little longer but they were all gone before I could test out that theory. You can use the recipe below to adapt it to their nut-free cinnamon pomegranate or original granola. Your family will love these bars because they taste great. You will love these bars knowing that you are feeding your family something rich in natural ingredients.
No-Bake Coffee Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (Adapted from Back to the Cutting Board)
4 tablespoon (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 cups Metropolitan Coffee Chocolate Chip Granola
1 cup rice cereal
1.) Line two 9 x 5 loaf pans or one 11 x 7 inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Lightly butter or spray the foil. Set aside.
2.) Combine honey and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in brown sugar after butter starts to melt.
3.) Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
4.) Add the granola and rice cereal into the saucepan and fold them into the sauce until evenly coated.
5.) Spread the mixture into the prepared pans and press firmly with a spatula to evenly fill.
6.) Let sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes or until mostly cooled and set; lift out of pan and cut into bars.
*DISCLAIMER: While Philly Homegrown provided me with the Metropolitan Bakery Granola, I was not compensated for this review. My opinions are my own.