Thursday, February 6, 2014

Chewy Granola Bars

Yay for homemade!  If you have a family and you pack lunches you probably buy a ton of prepackaged snacks like granola bars. This is a quick, easy, economical and delicious way to pack your family a healthy treat in their lunches without breaking the bank, and the bonus... you control what ingredient goes in them!

Chewy Granola Bars 
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 cup chopped dried fruit of your choice (optional)
1/2 cup chopped nuts of your choice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 TBS. vanilla protein powder (optional) 
1/4 cup coconut oil (or butter)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup pure maple syrup 
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C. mini chocolate chips

Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish or line it with  parchment paper. Mix rolled oats, rice cereal, dried fruit, and nuts together in a large bowl. Melt coconut oil or butter in a saucepan over medium heat or in microwave in a glass bowl or measuring cup. Add brown sugar, honey, maple syrup (or whatever combination of sweetness you choose) and mix until sugar is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes on stove top, or a minute in microwave, add vanilla and stir. Pour over oat mixture and stir well to combine. Spread mixture into prepared baking dish, and press chocolate chips into top of bars. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour and then cut into 12 bars.  Wrap individual bars in saran wrap and store in fridge to pack in lunches or enjoy as healthy snacks!

Cooks Notes - I thought these tasted fantastic but were a little sweet, next time I will cut the sweeteners down to a total 1/2 cup. I think you could use all honey, brown sugar or maple syrup, agave, or whatever you think would be a good combination, or whatever you have on hand... I will be experimenting with this recipe! I stored them in a small Tupperware box in my fridge so they were an easy grab and go treat.

Add Dry ingredients to a large bowl, 
I added some vanilla protein powder for a little
extra protein but this is totally optional

Melt butter, or coconut oil and mix in sweeteners and vanilla

Pour over dry ingredients

Mix well 

Press into a parchment lined or sprayed 9 x 13 inch pan

Refridgerate about an hour

I used parchment paper to line my pan so I pulled 
the whole thing out of pan before cutting

Cut into 12 bars

Don't they look yummy!

Wrap individual bars and store in fridge

These were a big hit with my family... they did not last more than a few days!  I plan on making them again, but I will tweak the recipe slightly.  I thought they were a little soft and sticky.  If anyone has a good granola bar recipe that they would be willing to share, I would love to experiment with other ones!


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