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Monday, September 27, 2010

Chew on This | Homemade Granola Bars

I have always loved granola bars.  Have you?

I made my first batch of granola last year.  I can't believe that it took me so long to jump on 
the granola bandwagon.

And the beauty of granola - throw in what ever tickles your fancy.  Or whatever you have in the pantry.

Here's what I used today:

Oats, brown sugar, ground flax seed, cinnamon, flour, dried cranberries, peanut butter,
salt, honey, one egg, canola oil, vanilla and peanuts.

In a large bowl, mix together your oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, dried cranberries, salt and flax.

Mixy - mixy!

Now you can add your peanut butter, honey and egg.  

I whip up the egg a bit before pouring it into the mix.  Better for incorporating into the dry 
ingredients - so I guess.

Now add your oil.


Oh, yes please!

Add your dry roasted peanuts.

Using your hands to mix is really the best way to make sure everything is coated and 
evenly distributed.

Now you can press everything onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

And bake!

Doesn't this look satisfying and healthy?  Chock full of hearty stuff!  Oh yea!

Cut granola into squares while it's still a little warm.  It'll be easier and will slice into uniform shapes.

Because we must be precise and uniform whenever the opportunity presents itself - right?
(Could I be more Type A right now?)

This recipe would serve as a great lunch box addition.  Or as an after school snack.

Make a few batches - they freeze like a dream!


Here's the recipe:

Homemade Granola Bars

3 cups oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 ground flax seed (or wheat germ)
1 t cinnamon
1 cup flour
3/4 cup dried cranberries (or any other dried fruit you like)
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 t salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup canola oil
2 t vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts (or your choice of nut)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine oats, sugar, flax seed, cinnamon, flour and dried cranberries and salt.

Next, add peanut butter, honey, beaten egg, oil and vanilla.  Use your hands to incorporate mixture thoroughly.  Finally, mix in your walnuts.

Evenly spread your granola mixture onto your cookie sheet.

Bake for  30-40 minutes or until edges of granola turn golden.  Cool for 10 minutes and cut in squares.

These bars freeze like a dream - make an extra batch for snack or school lunches!

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