I love granola bars, but because we are trying to buy less processed foods, I stopped getting them. Sometimes, though, it's nice to have a quick snack to grab on the way out the door. I have been meaning to make these for a while (original recipe here), and finally got to it today! They didn't take long... 30 minutes start to clean up (with a 3-hour wait until they're ready to eat). Whip up a batch today!
Homemade Fruit & Nut Granola Bars
2 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup steel cut oats or wheat germ
3/4 cup sunflower seeds (unsalted)
2 Tbsp. flax seed
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds (or try walnuts or peanuts)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey (local, if possible)
4 Tbsp. butter (not margarine)
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup dried fruit (your choice: raisins, Craisins, apricots, pineapple, etc.) - I used orange and cherry infused Craisins
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine oats, seeds, and nuts in a shallow baking dish. Toast in oven for 12 minutes, stirring mixture every 3 minutes to prevent scorching.
Prepare a 13x9 pan by placing a sheet of waxed paper in the bottom and spraying it lightly with cooking spray.
Meanwhile, heat sugar, honey, butter, vanilla, and salt over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently.
In a large bowl, combine toasted oat mixture, dried fruit, and honey mixture. Stir well to coat.
Using a wooden spoon, press mixture into prepared pan. Cut another sheet of waxed paper and lay over top of the bars. Press firmly and evenly to help bars stick together. Allow to cool for 2-3 hours.
Turn pan over a large cutting board and carefully remove the waxed paper. Using a large chef's knife, cut into bars. Wrap bars individually or store in a large container separating bars with waxed paper.
Yield: 18 bars
"They look like real granola bars!"
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