On the menu:
• hummus with toasted pine nuts
• winter beans and roasted vegetables
• Bean granola bars
Bean Granola Bars
11/2 cups cooked pinto beans
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup oatmeal
1 cup low-fat fruit granola cereal
3/4 cup dark raisins
3/4 cup coconut, shredded
3/4 cup sliced almonds
2/3 cup golden raisins (optional)
3/4 cup cranberries (optional)
3/4 cup dried apricots, diced (optional)
7 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
Extra granola cereal for topping
Drain, rinse and dry the pinto beans. Place them in a food processor and blend until smooth.
In a large bowl, combine the puréed beans, flour, brown sugar, oatmeal, granola, dark raisins, coconut, almonds and other optional dried fruits, if desired. Add the melted butter, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and salt and mix well. Press the mixture firmly and evenly into a greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle a small amount of granola on top for a garnish. Using a large metal spatula, firmly press the mixture down in the pan. (Compressing the mixture will help the granola bars hold together after cooking.)
Bake the granola bar mixture in a 350-degree oven until browned and firm to the touch in the center, 20 to 30 minutes. Again, press the baked mixture firmly with a metal spatula. Cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight before cutting into bars. Store the bars in a covered container in the refrigerator. Makes 30 to 36 bars.
Bean Granola Bars are adapted from a recipe for Beananza Bars, Idaho Bean Commission: www2.state.id.us/bean.
— Recipes prepared by Dietitian Cass Ryan, Lawrence Memorial Hospital.