Thursday, February 6, 2014

Homemade Granola Bars

I've been making a lot of granola lately, and I mean A LOT. It's the perfect breakfast or snack on the go. I just love it. 

I found a recipe for homemade granola bars on Pinterest and couldn't wait to try it. We've been buying these super delicious peanut butter and dark chocolate granola bars made by Nature Valley lately, and they are sooo good. After looking through a few different homemade granola recipes, I realized it was actually pretty easy. 

The best thing about granola is that you can literally add ANYTHING you want! Just look at this amazing  mix of oats, quinoa, almonds, sunflower seeds...

Don't like almonds? You could use walnuts, pecans, pistachios, or cashews. You can add in or leave out any ingredients to suit your taste buds. And of course, adding in some peanut butter would be amaaazing!

If you don't have all of the ingredients laying around...(maybe you don't hoard almonds, oats, quinoa, and chocolate chips like I do) could also just use a bag of your favorite trail mix and turn it into granola bars. SO EASY! :)

Homemade Granola Bars
Makes 12 bars
3 cups old fashioned oats 
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons flaxseeds
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut, toasted
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
5 ounces dark chocolate

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Scatter the oats, quinoa, almonds, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds on a baking sheet. Toast for about 15 minutes, stirring once. 
  • Line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper or foil. Make sure you have a piece that is long enough to hang over the sides. It will make it easier to lift the bars out of the pan.
  • While the granola is toasting, heat the coconut oil in a small saucepan on the stove. Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Bring it to a simmer over medium heat and stir to make sure the brown sugar dissolves.
  • Put the toasted granola in a large bowl. Pour the hot liquid over the oats and stir to coat evenly. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan.
  • Fold the parchment or foil over the top of the granola in the pan and press down to fill the corners and flatten. Keep pressing and smooth the granola out so that it is even.
  • Let the granola bars set up in a cool dry place for at least an hour. You could also let them set up in the refrigerator.
  • Life the bars out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Slice down the middle and then cut each half into 6 bars. Lay the bars on a clean piece of parchment or foil. 
  • Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat. Use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate over the sliced bars. 

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