Hence, I love the convenience of granola bars. What I do not love are the chemicals (most of which I can't pronounce) in the ingredients list of said granola bars.
Luckily, my awesome sister-in-law, Kate (author of Southern Dwellings blog), found a delicious recipe for "Chewy Granola Bars" on Casey Leigh's blog. Kate made a batch at home and brought them with her to the lake last month. For me, it was love at first bite, and needless to say, I had one for breakfast (and for a snack) every day we were there.
Kate altered the recipe a bit, using mini chocolate chips and cranberries, as opposed to sunflower and pumpkin seeds. I made my first batch a little differently as well, so keep in mind that this recipe is flexible and you can substitute your favorite ingredients.
I gathered the following: natural peanut butter, organic honey, coconut oil, natural oats, dried blueberries, dried cranberries, almonds, peanuts/pecans, and dark chocolate chips.
No crazy chemicals in any of these ingredients, folks!
Let me break it down:
1. Melt 2/3 cup honey, 1/2 cup coconut oil, and 1 cup peanut butter in a medium saucepan on low heat.
2. Remove from heat and add 2 cups of oats and 2 cups of remaining ingredients (here is where you can substitute your favorite seeds/dried fruits).
I saved the chocolate chips for last so they wouldn't melt in the warm mixture. Stir well.
3. Place mixture evenly into a 9 x 13 pan (if you want thicker bars, you can use a smaller pan). Optional: sprinkle chocolate chips on top.
4. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before eating. Cut bars to desired size. Keep leftovers refrigerated.
And there you have it.
Yu-um! Not only are these breakfast bars all-natural, they're delicious! They might even motivate me enough to get out of bed in time to enjoy them at home--maybe.
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