Homemade Granola Bars

Not all granola bars are created equal, but this one takes the cake.

Becky Low shares how to make your own granola bars.

Homemade Granola Bars
2 cups quick rolled oats
½ cup white or whole wheat flour
½ cup packed brown sugar, may reduce to taste
⅓ cup flaxseed, golden or brown
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, or cinnamon
1 cup raisins and/or other dried fruit
1 cup shredded coconut (loosely packed)
1 cup chopped or sliced nuts (almonds, pecans, peanuts, etc)
⅓ cup applesauce
⅓ cup melted butter
⅓ cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut a strip of parchment paper approximately 9×15 inches. Line a 9×9 pan with the parchment paper with excess hanging over the pan edge (overhanging edges will serve as handles to remove the granola bars from the pan). Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together oats, flour, sugar, flaxseed, salt, pumpkin pie spice, dried fruit, coconut and nuts. Make a well in the center of the mix. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Press mixture evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until the edges begin to brown (note – center will appear to be undercooked).

Cool 5-10 minutes; use parchment paper as a handle and remove granola from the pan; place on cutting board, cut into 12-24 pieces. Cool completely; store in airtight container. Add a glass of milk for a grab-and-go breakfast, lunch or mid-afternoon snack.

Easy, chewy homemade granola bars. Try making with ¼-cup peanut butter. Make 12-24 bars, serves 8-12

For advice on how to select a commercial granola bar that meets a healthy standard, click here for an interview with Nutritionist Trish Brimhall.

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