The best granola bars


One of my favourite christmas presents this year was the Oh She Glows cookbook. I have been reading her blog for a couple years now, and the cookbook does not disappoint! Soren, Poppy, and I like to eat granola bars. Tyler doesn't, as he has a nut allergy and traditionally most granola bars contain nuts. The problem with the store bought variety is that they are full of sugar. And some other crap too, much like any packaged 'baked' good. I never buy cookies, muffins, or loaves from the grocery store, but somehow packaged granola bars are often hiding in the back of our cupboard. For awhile I always had a couple in my bag 'just in case', but Soren caught on and the second we left the house he would claim he was starving and ask if I had anything in my bag. I would never give him daily chocolate bars, and the granola bars I was dishing out were not much better, so I stopped buying them altogether.

So here we are, back to granola bars! I followed the oh she glows recipe for the classic 'glo bar', but made a few changes. I've made them about five times so far, and this is my favourite adaptation to date. I love that I can experiment with different flavours and options, depending on who it's for and what I have in the cupboard.

The best granola bars

1) line a 9x9 glass cake pan with two sheets of parchment paper (to make a little sling)
2) mix together the following ingredients in a large bowl:
    - 1 1/2 cups of rolled oats (gluten free if you want)
    - 1 1/2 cups rice crisp cereal
    - 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
    - 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
    - 1/4 cup flax seeds
    - 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
    - 2 tablespoons chia seeds
    - dash of salt
    - dash of cinnamon
3) in a small pan, melt together 1/4 cup peanut butter or sunbutter, with 1/2 cup of honey. When the mixture is hot and thoroughly combined, remove from heat and stir in a teaspoon of vanilla.
4) pour the peanut butter mix over the dry ingredients, and mix to combine. Stir in a few chocolate chips. pour everything into the cake pan, and using your hands pat down the mixture. Use the parchment paper to press down over the granola bars more - trying to get everything really stuck together.
5) place in freezer for 15 min. remove and slice into bars, or squares. wrap each piece individually.

* I've tried these with sunbutter and peanut butter, and I prefer the taste of peanut butter. I also found the granola bars held together slightly better. However, for preschools and many kids activities, peanut butter is forbidden. The sunbutter is almost as good, and I like that the jar contains 'nut-free' stickers that I use to re-assure Soren's preschool that I am following the rules.

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