Apple Cranberry Granola Bars
My husband loves granola bars and I mean loves them! He eats one every single day. While I love the idea of granola bars, I am not impressed with all the added sugar and artificial fillers that the store bought varieties contain, so I created a version that is the perfect amount of sweet for him, but is also packed full of healthy goodies for me! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!!
Prep Time: 15 minutes Baking Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes Makes: 12 bars
- 1 1/2 cups oats
- 1 cup crispy rice cereal
- 1/4 cup almond slivers
- 1/4 cup raw pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds) or sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup dried apple, chopped into small pieces
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tsp flaxseed
- 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1 tsp vanilla or maple extract (optional)
- In a medium bowl, mix together oats,crispy rice cereal, almond slivers, pepitas or sunflower seeds, dried apple pieces, dried cranberries, flaxseed, and cinnamon.
- In a small saucepan, add honey, almond butter, and vanilla extract. Simmer on medium heat until mixture just starts to bubble.
- Pour honey mixture over the oat mixture and stir until well combined.
- Line a 8×8 or 9×9 square pan with parchment paper, ensuring there is an overflow of parchment paper over the end of the dish. Pour granola mixture into the pan spreading it evenly. Fold over the excess parchment paper and firmly press down on the granola, compacting it, so that it forms a firm layer along the bottom of the pan. The more firmly pressed, the better the granola will hold together.
- Place the granola and baking dish in the freezer for 30 minutes or in the fridge for 2 hours to allow granola to set.
- Remove from the freezer or fridge and cut into bars or squares using a large knife or a pizza cutter. Wrap bars in plastic wrap or parchment paper and store in an air tight bag or container in the fridge for up to two weeks, or in the freezer for up to two months.
- This recipe is extremely versatile. Here are a number of possible substitutes:
- For the honey, you can substitute corn syrup, brown rice syrup, maple syrup
- For the dried apple or dried cranberries, you can substitute any combination of dried fruit, including raisins, peaches, apricots, dates, shredded coconut etc.
- For the pepitas you can substitute any combination of nuts or seeds, raw or roasted, including almonds, pecans, walnuts, chia seeds, sunflower seeds etc.
- Essentially if there is an ingredient you would like to add, go for it, experiment and have fun. If the granola bars do not hold together, congratulations you have just created your very old delicious granola clusters that can top yogurt, oatmeal, french toast etc. With these healthy ingredients, there is no way you can go wrong!
With love from my kitchen to yours, Bon Appétit!