January 8, 2013

Homemade Granola Bars

A few years ago it never occurred to me that I would have the time or inclination to make fresh versions of the convenience food we buy for the boys. When our oldest started getting picky about his food last year I really started paying attention to what was in the things he actually wanted to eat. Granola bars made me shudder. Ugh! I was much happier before I looked at that label, but once I had I knew I had to make some changes. So I started hunting and before long had found this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. These granola bars are filling and incredibly easy to make. It's totally feasible to make these once a week, and cut out a substantial portion of guilt over what my preschooler is eating! More often than not they find their way into my lunch as well...
And yes, those are chocolate chips in there. Consider them a sneaky investment to get the little one interested! 

Granola Bars

2 cups quick rolled oats
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2-2 1/2 cups mixed fruit/nuts/etc. (I used wheat germ, coconut and chocolate chips)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c honey or maple syrup
4 tbs melted butter
2 tbs light corn syrup (can substitute honey or maple syrup if you prefer)
1 tbs water
1/3 cup peanut butter

Preheat the ove to 350 degrees.

Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and give it a quick spritz with a nonstick spray.

Stir all the dry ingredients together, and then whisk the vanilla, butter, syrup and water together before tossing with the dry. Stir in the peanut butter. 

Now press it all into the pan and bake for about 20 minutes until the tops have begun to brown. If they are a bit crumbly try cooling the pan in the refrigerator to help them set. Once cool, slice into squares or bars. 

Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen. See original recipe for more mix in ideas. 

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