Granola Bars . . . or Super Swim Bars!

Granola Bar

I love a good granola bar. The kind that is a little chewy and still a little crunchy. I like them to be sweet, but not so sweet that they have that “burn” that sometimes comes from too much sugar, or especially too much honey.

This summer, we needed some snacks to take to swim meets (hence the alternate name, SUPER Swim Bars!, by which they will forever be known around our house), and I found a recipe for granola bars that I liked, but didn’t quite love.  Now, with a few tweaks, I’m really happy with it and it’s been a hit with the whole family.

Granola Bar Recipe

Ingredients

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter, or other seed/nut butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 Tbsp sucanat, rapadura, or light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup ground flax
Optional, make it even healthier, ingredients:
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp popped amaranth
Optional, make it even yummier, ingredients:
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, dried apricots, figs, or some combination of these

Directions
  1. If you’re concerned about it sticking, you can spray a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. I’ve actually never had a problem with mine sticking to a pyrex baking dish, even when I don’t spray it.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine honey, peanut butter, coconut oil, rapadura or sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Stir and cook until mixture just begins to bubble, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
  3. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients (except for chocolate chips, if you plan to add those).
  4. Pour liquid mixture over oatmeal mixture and stir gently until well combined.
  5. If you’re adding chocolate chips, stir mixture and allow to cool somewhat before adding the chocolate so it doesn’t melt instantly.
  6. Transfer to baking dish, cover with waxed or parchment paper and press firmly into dish.
  7. Allow to cool completely (will cool faster in the refrigerator). Cut into squares or bars.

These also freeze well. I individually wrap mine and usually keep them refrigerated or frozen until we take them out to take with us somewhere for a snack. I think they hold together just as well as the store bought granola bars I’ve been purchasing lately, and my family enjoys the flavor just as much or more so. And, hey, these can make you SUPER!

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