Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Granola Bars

During busy times it's convenient to have a handy, healthy, portable snack. A good friend of mine has a great recipe for homemade granola bars I thought I would pass along.

Recipe adapted from "More Healthy Foods That Aren't" posted on the Holistic Nutrition Bytes Blog. Please see her original post for more information on why many commercial "health foods" aren't really all that wholesome: http://www.maryvancenc.com/2009/10/more-healthy-foods-that-arent-recipe-included/

Homemade Granola Bars:

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup mixed nuts/seeds (I like to use pepitas, pecans, and sliced almonds)
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed, unsweetened
2 tbsp coconut oil
2/3 cup honey (can use agave nectar)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cup dried fruit, or a mix of dried fruit (I use chopped dried apricots and dried cranberries)

Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Toss the oatmeal, nuts, and coconut together on a sheet pan and toast for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.

While the mixture is still warm, stir in the honey, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt until the mixture is well coated, then add in the dried fruit. Firmly press the mixture into the prepared baking dish until the mixture is packed as tightly as possible.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool completely and cut into squares. I store mine individually wrapped in the freezer. When I'm heading out the door, I grab one in case I need a quick snack on the go.

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