Thursday, July 9, 2015

Easy Peasy Granola Bars

I'm on a hunt for the perfect granola bar recipe. Taste is important, but I also don't want to have to run out and buy any unusual ingredients that I don't have stocked in my kitchen on any given day - no, I don't normally have Rice Krispies on hand. I also want to get back to a more whole food lifestyle for our family and that can be hard with lunches to pack and a busy schedule with kids.

It's a little ironic that in today's batch I tossed in a bag of Reese's Pieces that have been sitting on a shelf in the back of the pantry for ages. But we can talk about my partially hydrogenated hypocrisy later. Next time I'll use the organic dark chocolate chips I picked up at Bob's Red Mill on our recent road trip through Oregon.

Here is the everyday cast of characters:

Granola Bars
1 C Peanut Butter (creamy or crunchy)
1/2 C Honey
1/2 C Coconut Oil

2 1/2 C Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1/2 C Whole Wheat Flour
1 C Almonds
1/2 C Unsweetened Coconut Flakes - Shredded is fine too
1 t Salt
Optional: 1 C Chocolate Chips

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Heat the peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil until smooth. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir well. Pat into a 9x13 pan lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Wait at least 20 minutes until cutting.

The beauty of making homemade granola is that you can be super flexible with ingredients. Don't have any almonds? Use walnuts or pecans. Don't have coconut? Leave it out. It's hard to go wrong with minor deviations like that. Like me, you'll learn over time what tastes best and works well for your family.

Happy baking!

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