I have a love hate relationship with Granola bars, i want to like them but So far, over the years of searching, one of the only store bought ones i like are the fruit and nut bars by Nature Valley. So I've been a little apprehensive about trying to make them myself, but these home made, granola bars we're a much better and probably much healthier version, i am quite sold, and i hope you will be to!
The husband and I will be taking a trip to Disneyland this fall and have been researching ways in which to save money on food, you know what that means, don't you? i was on the hunt, recipe hunt that is. Granola bars seemed like the perfect snack, all that was left was to run them by the official "taste tester." so the next day i put them in his lunch box and waited for his response later that day. Not even kidding, the first thing he said when he walked through the door was "those granola bars you made...they we're delicious. the perfect camping snack, etc.." I'd say they are a keeper and are definitely going on the D-land list.
Adapted from A Cozy Kitchen
2 C. Old Fashioned Oats
1 C. Sliced Almonds
1 C. Shredded coconut, loosely packed*
1/2 C. Flax seed meal (if you can't find it wheat germ works too)
1 Tbs Unsalted butter
1/3 C. Honey
1/3 C. Brown sugar, packed. (substitute with honey if you want)
1 1/2 Tsp Vanilla
1/4 Tsp Salt
3/4 C. Dried cherries*
3/4 C. Dried Apricots, chopped (i used Turkish apricots)
* you can use any mixture of dried fruit you like and alternate the ratio as long as it comes out to 1 1/2 cups total.
*if you don't like coconut you can substitute this with another cup of oats or another kind of nut or seed, like sesame seed, etc..
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 Pyrex dish.
In a large bowl mix together the oats, almonds and coconut. Pour out onto a rimmed cookie sheet and bake, stirring occasionally for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Pour oat mix back into large bowl, stir in Flax seed meal and set aside.
In a medium saucepan add in brown sugar, honey, butter vanilla and salt. Melt over medium heat until completely melted. Pour directly over oat mixture, stir. Add dried fruit and stir.
Pour granola into the greased Pyrex dish and with wet fingers gently press down to evenly spread across the dish.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool for 2-3 hours before cutting into bars.
Can also be broken up and served with yogurt or as a cereal. Enjoy!!