060908valerie.jpgPhoto of Girls Club cook Valerie courtesy Girls Club.

Since April, the Lower East Side Girls Club has been operating their La Tiendita (The Little Store) booth at the Essex Street Market. The Girls Club reaches out to economically disadvantaged girls and young women between the ages of 8 and 23, offering athletic, cultural, life-skills and career oriented programs.

For the Essex Street Market, club members have been making a variety of healthy treats in their commercial kitchen on Avenue C. Called the “Farm Girls” product line, the items include healthy granola bars, dried spice mixes, salsa, sofrito, pesto and other goods made from farm fresh foods. The recipe for their “Power Girl” granola bar is after the jump; but if you're in a rush you can support the Girls Club by buying it at the Essex Street Market every Saturday from 11am-7pm or at their flagship La Tiendita at 56 East 1st Street.

Girls Club "Power Girl" Granola Bars

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 cups almonds, chopped

1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup honey

1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 ounces safflower oil, plus extra for pan
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 1/2 ounces dried cranberries

6 1/2 ounces

Lightly oil a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and wheat germ onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, oil, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the raisins and cranberries, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.