Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Favorite Granola Bars


When I first began blogging last November, I posted my granola bar recipe.  Since then, it has changed and adapted to the tastes of my family.  I love this recipe because it is easy to add or subtract to it, it's fairly quick (35 minutes total), and it yields super delicious granola bars!  Plus, you can keep these really healthy by adding extra nuts, reducing the brown sugar, etc. 

Granola Bars
  1. Preheat oven to 300 F.  
  2. On a baking sheet, place 3 cups oats, and 1 cup coconut flakes.  Place in the oven for 10 minutes.  (if you want to add any nuts or seeds to your bars, you could also add them to the baking sheet now-I love sunflower seeds in mine).  
  3. Meanwhile, in a sauce pan on medium heat, melt 2 TBS butter and 3 TBS coconut oil (or 5 TBS butter if you don't have coconut oil).  Add in 1/2 cup honey and 1/2 cup agave nectar (you need 1 cup total of the two; I recommend at least 1/2 honey, though, to make sure the bars stick together).  Mix in 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4-1/2 cup peanut butter, 1-2 TBS flaxmeal, 1 TBS nutritional yeast, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp vanilla.
  4. Transfer oats to a bowl.  Add in 1/2 cup dried cranberries Pour honey mixture over the top.  Mix together.
  5. Pour mixture into a greased 13x9 inch pan.  (If you want chocolate chips on the bottom of your bars, be sure to sprinkle them across the bottom of your tray.  In the pic above, I quickly mixed the chips into the mixture to avoid my children biting the chocolate off the bottom!)
  6.  Bake at 300 F for 20-22 minutes until set.  
  7. Allow to cool before slicing into bars.  I can usually get 22-24 good sized bars out of one batch. 
 Now, almost all of my batches with the above recipe come out sticking together well.  BUT, I have (a long time ago) had a batch that had too little honey and they just fell apart.  In that case, I broke it all up into pieces and put the granola into a container for my kids to snack out of when hungry.  They loved it, though they ate it way too quickly!

Also, these come out as soft or "chewy" granola bars, which my family loves.  But, if you bake them a little longer they will get firmer or more "crunchy".  Just be very careful not to overcook it or you will end up with burnt granola, which is no good!

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