>My Super Duper Easy & Dee-lish Granola Bars

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(These aren’t mine, I just liked the photo.)

I’ll confess…I’ve been meaning to post this forever but kept forgetting until Sheila asked if I had a recipe. So here goes. ***NOTE: This recipe is super flexible. It can easily be made both vegan and gluten free. Use whatever you have on hand and change it up from time to time. It’s pretty impossible to mess up as long as the general portions are ok, and the mix isn’t too gloppy or too dry. I’ve put some substitutions in parentheses, but feel free to do whatever you and your family enjoys the most.

You need to use a large, greased glass pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Do yourself a favor and use a very large mixing bowl for this. When everything is in the bowl, and you are trying to coat it all, a big bowl will make things much easier.

1/3 c. veg oil (EVOO is what I use)
3/4 brown sugar
2 T. honey (I use local honey, you can also use agave nectar or maple syrup)
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs (can sub egg replacer if doing this vegan)
1 C. whole wheat flour (I’ve also used brown rice flour…if you do this it will make it gluten free. At least I’m pretty sure it does, but then again, if you have gluten allergies you probably know substitutions for stuff better than I do.)
1 t. cinnamon (I also add nutmeg and cardamom)
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 1/2 c. oats
2 c. crisp rice cereal (I use one of the natural brands because Rice Krispies have HFCS in them.)
1 c. chopped nuts or sunflower seeds (I usually just throw in a bunch of whatever I have on hand-pecans, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds)
1 c. of a mix of extras (raisins, craisins, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, dried fruit)

I have also added wheat germ, ground flax seeds, and applesauce. I recommend mixing the wet ingredients first and then add dry one at a time. After each ingredient, fully mix into the wet items to ensure that the “base” is fully blended. This will make things much easier once you add the oats, cereal, fruit, and nuts. All of the dry items need to be fully coated with the mix and if the flour and spices aren’t already incorporated, you can end up with dry pockets throughout once you add the big stuff in there.

When everything is coated, pour into the glass pan and press down so everything is tight and level. Put into the oven for 20 minutes to start. Check it to see if the top is golden brown. If you like chewy granola bars, remove them when it’s just starting to look done (might be right at the 20 minute mark or a few minutes after) and if you like them crunchy, leave it in until the top is starting to get dark, but not burnt.

Let them cool before you cut them. It should yield 16 bars. You can put them into an air tight container and should be good for a week or two.

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