Granola Bars

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I had to travel for the first time since Alice was born… alone. My heart literally broke just thinking about this trip. The tldr: I survived. But I missed my girl so much. Besides the emotional part of traveling, I also had to figure out pumping while on the road. (This is probably not the intro you were expecting to my favorite granola bar recipe…) Thinking I’d need whatever help I could get to up the production on the road, I made granola bars so I could make sure to eat my oats every day. I found this recipe on… SURPRISE!!! Smitten Kitchen! Sharing my adjustments below. These turned out absolutely delicious, I would just recommend you keep them refrigerated as much as possible.

 INGREDIENTS:

1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats

1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup oats, processed till finely ground in a food processor or blender
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts (total of 10 to 15 ounces)
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 350 degreesF. Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan in one direction with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides. Lightly grease the parchment paper and the exposed pan, or coat with a non-stick spray.

Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts. I used:

  • dried cherries
  • sliced almonds
  • sesame seeds
  • coconut flakes
  • walnuts

In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter or oil, liquid sweeteners and water. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry (and peanut butter, if you’re using it) until the mixture is evenly crumbly. Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan. (A piece of plastic wrap can help with this, as you press down on the back of it.)

Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges — don’t be afraid to get a little color on the tops too. They’ll still seem soft and almost underbaked when you press into the center of the pan but do not worry, they’ll set completely once completely cool.

Cool the bars in their pan completely on a cooling rack. Once cool, a serrated knife (or bench knife) to cut the bars into squares.

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