Cook it :: Granola Bars

Lars is allergic to nuts.  Which means we can't buy any granola bars that are sold on grocery shelves - not only because most of them contain nuts but the ones that don't have nuts in them are 'made in a factory with nuts.'  Granola bars are a healthy, simple way to bulk up any lunch, car snack, or handbag.  I packed these granola bars with me to New York.

It sounds challenging to say you "made your own granola bars."  But it isn't hard.  If you've made cookies of any kind {ever} then you are over-qualified to make these.

Granola Bars
Makes 8 bars

2 cups quick oats
1 cup rice krispie cereal
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup raisins
½ cup toasted coconut
3 tablespoons flax seed
¼ cup wheat germ
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of an 8x8 baking pan.  Cut parchment paper to fit inside with two ends hanging over. Set aside.

Mix all dry ingredients together with your hands until all brown sugar is broken up and mixture is well combined.  Add oil, honey, and vanilla and continue to combine gently with your hands until the entire mixture is moist. 

Press into prepared pan.  Use the bottom of a glass to ensure mixture is well packed in the baking dish. 

Bake 20-22 minutes until golden brown.  When done baking, remove immediately from the oven and let sit at room temperature 24 hours.  Remove from pan and cut with a sharp knife into 2” x 4” bars.  Wrap individual bars with wax paper and keep in an airtight container up to one week.

P.S. :: I'm working on a variation that is "tropical" with dried coconut, mango, and a lot more coconut!  Stay tuned!