These bars are also incredibly easy to make, which makes them a perfect way to get kids involved in the kitchen. Let small kids stir the dry ingredients while you measure, and let bigger kids take more control over everything from measuring to altering the recipe to include their favorite dried fruit.
I found the original recipe in the January 2013 edition of Martha Stewart's Whole Living. Her recipe is here. But, in order to show you how endlessly adaptable this recipe is, here is how I made it this week:
Homemade Granola Bars
Ingredients:1 cup crushed shredded wheat (you know, the dregs at the bottom of the cereal bag that no one wants to eat - this is how to use them up)
2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup mixed raisins and Craisins
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 cup peanut butter (use your favorite nut butter)
1/4 cup honey (yes, less than the original)
1/2 cup apricot puree (any fruit puree will work)
3 Tbsp orange juice
4 Tbsp ground flaxseed meal
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Oil an 8x8 pan.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine cereal, oats, dates, dried fruit, cinnamon and salt. Mix to combine.
3. In another bowl, combine flaxseed meal and all wet ingredients. Mix well so that no large clumps of peanut butter remain.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry, and mix well. Add more fruit puree if needed to get a nice batter-like consistency throughout.
5. Press mixture into 8x8 pan and smooth out the top. Be sure to press it into the pan evenly so that the bars won't crumble after baking.
6. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
7. Let cool completely, then cut into squares. I do 9, if you have young kids you may like to cut them smaller. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Have fun making Martha's version or mine, and then experiment with your own combinations! Let me know if you come up with some delicious new version, I love trying new combinations since I make a batch every couple weeks.
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