Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Homemade, Healthy Granola Bars

Spend money on small granola bars no longer! Super easy to make, this yummy bars are an incredibly filling snack. I made them recently for a Women's Fitness Night at Bivouac - they went over incredibly well! This recipe makes about 1.5 large jelly roll pans of granola bars - but if you want less the recipe can easily be halved.

PS: I did most all of my ingredient hunting at the People's Food Coop (PFC) in Ann Arbor.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Snack Bars
-parchment paper
-1 cup of honey
-1 cup natural cream peanut butter (I recommend the bulk peanut butter at the PFC)
-4 TBSP maple syrup
-2 TBSP Canola Oil
-1/2 cup light brown sugar
-1 tsp ground cinnamon
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-4 cups rolled oats
-4 cups crisp brown rice cereal
-1/2 cup wheat germ
-1 cups roasted peanuts (corse chopped)
-1 cup dried cranberries
-1 cup dried blueberries
-approx. 1 tsp kosher salt (more or less to taste)

1. Line jelly roll pans with parchment paper (trust me - it will make removing the bars and cutting them much easier)

2. In a medium sized saucepan, put honey, peanut butter, maple syrup, canola oil, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Combine over medium/high heat juuuust until the mixture starts to bubble (it'll take about 5 to 8 min). Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

3. In a fairly large bowl, mix together the oats, rice cereal, wheat germ, peanuts, cranberries, blueberries, and salt.

4. Pour the ooey-gooey peanut butter concoction over the oatmeal/cereal mixture. Mix with a spatula until everything is combined (aka, all the dry goods are coated with the wet goods). Pour the mixture into lined jelly roll pans, cover with more parchment paper, and press the mixture firmly down into the pans.

5. I recommend allowing the bars to cool for about an hour on the counter and then pop them in the fridge overnight to 'solidify' them more. When ready - cut them into squares/bars and enjoy!

Next Up: Zucchini Cakes!

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