This blog has been up for about two years, being filled with a variety of hand models displaying their recipes and delicious posts depicting scrumptious photo how-tos. However, I think this is the first recipe my sister has participated in. I am very proud of her for joining in on the healthy living effort. Our family tree is riddled with diabetes, heart disease and cancer, which the main trigger is the poor eating habits taught generation to generation. Well the diseases and pain are being pruned away by a healthier generation. My sister, cousins and I are all making efforts to live healthier and watch how we eat. A big skill that I am striving for is to eventually cut out all processed food. So I love recipes that teach me how to make a better version of what I usually buy at Wal-Mart. Thanks Sis for being the hand model and teaching me how to make my own granola bars!
- 1/3 cup Honey
- 1/3 cup Peanut Butter or Almond Butter (Natural would be healthier)
- Note: If you spray the measuring cup with oil and then microwave the peanut butter in the measuring cup, it will make for more accurate measuring and it will be easier to scoop out into the bowl
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
- 1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons Chocolate Chips (Mini are the best to use)
- 3- 3 1/2 tablespoons Coconut Flakes
- 1 cup of dried fruit (we used 1/2 cup dried pomegranate and 1/2 cup dried cranberries)
- 1 1/2 cups Mixed Nuts
- 2 cups Old-Fashioned Oats
Step 1: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2: Combine honey, peanut butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and brown sugar in a large microwave safe bowl.
Step 3: Microwave for 20 seconds. Stir until smooth.
Step 4: Stir in chocolate chips and coconut flakes. Do not over-mix or the chips will melt.
Step 5: Roughly chop the dried fruit and add to the bowl.
Step 6: Roughly chop the nuts and add to the bowl.
Step 7: Add oats.
Step 8: Microwave 10-15 seconds.
Step 9: Stir all the ingredients until well combined. The oats should no longer be white when you are done mixing.
Step 10: Line a 8X8 casserole dish with parchment paper and spray with butter.
Step 11: Press the granola firmly down into the dish into an even layer.
Step 12: Bake 20-30 minutes. When edges are golden brown, remove from oven and let the dish cool completely on counter top. Then put the dish into the fridge to cool for a couple of hours.
*Note: Even though the temptation is great, the bars will be easier to cut and will stay together if you refrigerate it for a couple of hours. If you cut too soon, it will fall apart.
Step 13: Cut into bar shapes. Eat and Enjoy!