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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Project: Homemade Granola Bars

We created this reci-pea with the spirit of "back-to-school" in mind, but thought it would make a great project to complete over the long weekend!

Suitable for breakfast on the go, a treat in the lunch box or an after school snack, these bars are an ultra-convenient pick-me-up at any time of day for the whole family. Oats, nuts and dried fruit offer a great balance of protein, heart-healthy unsaturated fat, B vitamins, Vitamin E, and minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and more!

Lunchbox Granola Bars
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup nuts, chopped (any kind)
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 TBL vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz. dried fruit, chopped into small pieces
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toast the oats, nuts, sunflower seeds on a sheet pan in the oven for 10-12 mins, stirring every few minutes so they don't burn. Meanwhile, line a baking dish/pan with waxed paper and then lightly spray the waxed paper with non-stick spray.
Put the brown sugar, honey, oil, cinnamon and salt into a saucepan and bring to a simmer, swirling occassionally. Turn off the heat, add the vanilla and swirl to combine. Set aside.
When the oat mixture is done toasting, transfer to a large bowl. Add the dried fruit and stir to break up any clumps. Pour in the honey mixture and mix really well to coat everything evenly. Transfer into prepared baking sheet and spread out evenly.
Wait 1 hour or until the granola has totally cooled. Peel off the waxed paper and cut the bars into 1 1/2 inch strips about 4 inches long. Wrap in wax paper and store in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple days or in the freezer for up to a month.

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