Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fruit & Nut Granola Bars

I have made many different granola bar recipes- there are tons out there, and today I stumbled on a new favorite!  They were easy enough that my kids did a majority of the work, with me just peeking over their shoulders.  The only problem was that I wish there were more!  This batch made 10 bars- enough for everyone in my family to have two... Next time I'll double it and use a 9x13 pan instead.

Homemade granola bars can have a wide variety of consistencies- hard, soft, crumbly, chewy, etc.  I found these ones to be perfectly chewy, not very crumbly, and I love that they're both sweet & salty!  The fact that they don't use the oven is a bonus (during the long summer months)! 

Fruit & Nut Granola Bars
Printable version here

1 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking oats
3 tbsp. ground flaxseed
1/4 cup dried fruit (such as cranberries or raisins)
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts (preferably roasted or toasted)
1/3 cup honey
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)

1. Combine the cereal, oats, flaxseed meal, dried fruit, and nuts in a large bowl.  (If using a larger dried fruit like apricots, chop first into small pieces.)

2. Bring the honey and brown sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; remove from heat.  Stir in peanut butter and vanilla (and cinnamon if using) until blended.

3. Pour the peanut butter mixture over cereal mixture, stirring until all dry ingredients are coated (mixture will be stiff). 

4. Press mixture firmly into an 8-inch square pan (sprayed with nonstick cooking spray) using a large square of waxed paper (or your hands, sprayed with nonstick spray).  Cool completely in pan, and then cut into desired size bar. 

Yield: about 10 bars (You may also double the recipe and use a 9x13 pan)

Recipe Source:

Why I love it? They are cheaper & healthier than store-bought granola bars, they are customizable, and delicious!!  My kids and I both give them two hearty thumbs up!

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