Wednesday, December 1, 2010

No Nut Homemade Granola Bars

Granola bars are notorious for their nuts.  These bars are nut free and great for lunch boxes at school or backpacks when out for a hike.  My kids think they are a treat and have them for dessert.  You can make them more healthy by skipping the chocolate chips, (but why would you do that?).   


2 c oats
1 c shredded coconut
½ c wheat germ
1/4 c sunflower seeds
½ c honey
¼ c brown sugar
3 tbs soy butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2  tsp salt
½ c  chopped dried fruit, any combination of cranberries, raisins, apricots or cherries
1/3 c miniature dairy and nut free chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish with shortening and set aside.  
Spread the oats, coconut, wheat germ, and sunflower seeds onto a sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Combine the honey, brown sugar, soy butter, vanilla and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.  Once the oat mixture is done baking, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F.  Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine.  Gently stir in the chocolate chips (be careful, they may start to melt in the warm granola).
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.  Lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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