Having experimented with more granola bar recipes than we care to count, these are the best, hands down! Making your own granola bars enables you to eliminate the unwanted additives and high sugar content of many packaged granola bars. These are made with almond butter, so if your child is attending a nut-free school, substitute sunflower seed butter or soy butter for excellent results.
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup flax seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup crispy rice cereal (try to find a whole grain one, but Rice Krispies will do in a pinch)
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup diced dates or raisins
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup honey
1 cup almond butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9- x 13-inch pan and line with parchment paper, leaving ends lying over edges of pan. (This will allow you to lift granola bars out of pan with ease.)
Spread oats, flax seeds and sunflower seeds on baking sheet and toast in oven for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Return to oven and toast for another 8 minutes. Place in large bowl.
Add rice cereal, cranberries, dates and coconut to toasted oat mixture and stir to combine.
In saucepan, combine honey, almond butter, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Place over medium heat and stir for approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add to oat mixture and stir to combine. Let cool.
Add eggs and stir to combine. Spread granola mixture in pan, pressing with back of spoon to smooth it out. Sprinkle with chocolate chips (if using) and press into granola.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until granola is golden brown. Let cool in pan for 25 minutes. Cut into bars and place pan in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Break apart bars and store in refrigerator until ready to be eaten.
Yield: 24 bars
Excerpted from Good Food to Go by Brenda Bradshaw and Cheryl Mutch, M.D. Copyright © 2011 by Brenda Bradshaw and Cheryl Mutch, M.D.. Excerpted by permission of Random House Canada, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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