Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Best {and Most Dangerous} Granola Bars EVER!









Sometimes, I just want a snack. And sometimes I'm tired of an apple. And sometimes I want something a little sweet. And sometimes I have time and I make this, and I am satisfied. 



 I came across a variation of this recipe on bakergal.com,  and HAD to try it! I changed it up a bit to fit my tastes (so of course, I took out A LOT of coconut!) and came up with this. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Your sweet tooth can thank me later. 





I think what impressed me most about this creation is that it really did make granola bars. Some other recipes I've come across claim to make granola bars, yet end up being over-sized granola chunks. I tried and re-tried those recipes over and over. I baked them longer,  I added more liquid, I mixed more thoroughly, but all I ended up with was too much granola.  But this granola really does make granola bars!! Little did I know the trick was in such a simple appliance- the refrigerator!

And its so versatile, it can be made into granola chunks too for coconut yogurt, a smaller snack, or whatever you want.  Feel free to make a 1/4, 1/2, or  double recipe. It is so easy!

Disclaimer: This contains a lot of sugar, especially if you add in more dried fruit. Though it has lots of nuts, coconut, and seeds, it still can cause an unhealthy blood sugar swing. If you have a low tolerance to sugar (like me), I'd make a smaller batch and eat in small chunks.


~The Best Granola Bars Ever!!!~

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups almonds
3/4 cups sunflower seeds
2 Tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes

1/3 cup honey or syrup {I tried it both ways successfully. Feel free to mix it up!}
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt

Instructions:

Mix the dried fruit, coconut, and chia seeds in a medium bowl. Chop almonds into small, bite-sized pieces. Place 1/4 cup of the almonds in with the fruit, and place the remaining nuts into a food processor with the sunflower seeds. Grind the almonds and seeds until they reach the consistency of coarse meal. Mix in with the rest of the dry ingredients and set aside.

Place the honey or syrup with the coconut oil. cinnamon, and salt in a small saucepan, and bring to a low boil. Remove from heat immediately, and pour over the fruit and nut mixture. Mix thoroughly with a spatula until it cools off enough to use your hands to incorporate better. 

Place the granola in a greased 9"x13" baking dish. Press down firmly {this part is really important, for if you don't press hard enough, the granola bars won't be "bar-y"}. Set the granola in the refrigerator for at least an hour, then cut into desired size.


To store, if you want to keep them as bars, leave them in an airtight container, or in the baking dish covered with cling wrap. If you're ok with granola chunks, simply place granola in an airtight container at room temperature.

*Feel free to change it up and make it your favorite way. Add flaxseeds, raisins, cashewJust make sure to keep the ratios of nuts:berries:liquid the same, otherwise they won't be bars!

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