My man asked, ever-so-sweetly, if I could possibly make him some homemade granola bars. I wanted something natural, organic, sweet but not too sweet, soft, moist, and healthy for him. Here (after MUCH experimentation) is what I came up with. These bars do take a bit of time to make, but are well worth it. I had barely cut the bars when they began disappearing (himself and the little ladies were all diving in)! As always, I use the all-natural, organic options found at my local organic market.
These take about an hour to make, start to finish.
Keep in mind that I live in Denver, so these are made at high altitude with very dry conditions. You may need less liquid ingredients in more humid climates.
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup honey
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup flax seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup whole almonds
¾ cup dried fruits
2 cups quick oats
You may choose to top your granola bars with a peanut butter or chocolate ganache. You may also substitute in your favorite cereal, chocolate or peanut butter chips ... As long as the total of dry ingredients is 4 cups, you should be good.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flax seeds, sunflower seeds, whole almonds, dried fruit and quick oats. Set aside.
In a saucepan, heat the peanut butter, honey and brown sugar over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the peanut butter is liquified.
Pour the sweetened peanut butter mixture into the oat and seed mix. Combine.
I found this was easiest to do using clean hands and digging right in. A spoon or other apparatus seemed to hold most of the stickiness and made it tough to get the oat mixture covered properly.
Once the oat mixture is coated, press firmly into a baking dish. I found the best results using a 9 x 12½ glass baking dish.
Let chill in refrigerator for around a half hour, or until firm.
Cut into bars (a bench scraper works great for cutting), package, and store in the refrigerator.
I don't know how long these homemade granola bars will keep in the refrigerator. They've never made it past 3 days at our house!
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