Crispy Baked Homemade Granola Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These granola bars are for folks who like their bars oven-crisp, and are reminiscent of those Nature Valley granola bars that come packaged two in a pouch. As long as you stick to the ratios of dry stuff to gooey stuff, you can vary the ingredients to use what you have on hand. Nuts will work in place of the seeds, and peanut or almond butter in place of the sunflower seed butter, for example.
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Ingredients
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened sunflower seed butter (I used Sunbutter organic)
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
  • ½ cup oat flour (see note below)
  • ¼ cup ground flax seed
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup hulled pumpkin seeds, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ½ cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, cherries, apricots, blueberries), coarsely chopped if necessary
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with two pieces of parchment paper arranged in a criss-cross formation. (You essentially want to create a sling, with parchment hanging over each edge, so that you can easily pull the bars out of the pan when they are cool.)
  2. Melt the coconut oil in the microwave in a medium glass bowl, then whisk in the sunflower seed butter and maple syrup. (If your sunflower seed butter has been in the fridge, you can melt it along with the coconut oil for easier whisking.)
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, then stir in the coconut oil/sunflower seed butter/maple syrup mixture.
  4. Pour the mixture into the parchment-lined baking pan, distribute it evenly and then press it down very firmly.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the bars begin to brown on the top.
  6. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool completely.
  7. Use the parchment paper to remove the cooled bars to a cutting board. Use a very sharp knife to gently cut the bars to a size that will work for you.
  8. For easy lunch and snack prep, individually wrap the bars in saran wrap and store in the freezer. Otherwise, they will keep for a week or so stored at room temperature in an airtight container.
Notes
Oat flour: if you don't have any oat flour on hand, just grind some oats in a blender or coffee grinder until they are the consistency of whole wheat flour.
Recipe by (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean at http://kiwiandbean.com/crispy-baked-homemade-granola-bars/