Thursday, April 17, 2014

Homemade Granola Bars

We ran out of granola bars the other day, and instead of buying some more, I thought I'd try to make my own, sans corn syrup and preservatives.

I found this recipe on Pinterest, and made a few modifications. They taste great, but are a bit crumbly, so I'd recommend increasing the PB and sugar as needed. Next time I think I'll experiment with using dates and other dried fruit as a sweetener and binding agent, or maybe adding coconut oil.

I gave Evie some tastes as I was cutting them up, and she kept asking for more!  She ate more than a whole bar, and still asked for more, so I'd say these are definitely kid-approved. And, I think it would be really easy to make them dairy free (use dairy free chocolate chips) and gluten free (use GF oats and cereal).

Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars


2 cups  quick oats
1 cup bran cereal (original recipe calls for rice cereal, but I think any cereal would work. I used some I had on hand. )
1/2 cup ground flax
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 +1/8 cup agave
Scant 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Add all dry ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer. Meanwhile, mix and then microwave the peanut butter, sugar, and agave in a microwave safe dish, 30 seconds at a time, until mixture is smooth and well combined. Add to mixing bowl, and mix on low speed. Add more agave or peanut butter as needed until mixture binds together.

Line an 8x8 pan with foil.

Turn granola mixture into lined pan, and press it in firmly. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top, distributing them evenly (I used less than 1/4 cup). Press them into the bars using the back of a stiff spatula or spoon.

Refrigerate bars for 1 hour, then lift then out of the pan using the foil lining.  Cut into 12 bars, 2x6. Wrap individual bars in plastic wrap, and further compress them together after they are wrapped.

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