Monday, October 22, 2012

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars Recipe (Easy & Versatile!)

Sugar-free, nutritious, no preservatives or hidden ingredients, and easier to make than cookies!  Nope, I'm not kidding.  I have honed this recipe over a period of several months to make sure that even my almost two-year-old (who calls them "cookies") begs for them when she sees them.  This is one sweet snack I don't feel guilty about giving to the kids at any time of day!  What's even better about this recipe is that it's so versatile - you can include both the dates and raisins, one or none; you can substitute chocolate chips instead for a chocolate-coconut granola bar; or you can add just about any dried fruit or nut (like cranberries and walnuts).  These also freeze wonderfully and can easily be made gluten-free by using gluten-free, quick cooking rolled oats.  Enjoy!
Homemade Chewy Granola Bars Recipe
(Yield: One 9x13 pan)
2 cups quick cooking rolled oats
1/4 cup flax meal
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup almonds, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dates (or figs)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/3 cup agave nectar
3 medium eggs
2 Tbs coconut oil
3 Tbs water
1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)
Directions:  Preheat oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit.  Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray.  Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk agave and eggs in a separate bowl.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix well.  Add water and mix until well-moistened.  (If you prefer a more uniform texture and want to go through the trouble, at this point you can put the mixture in the food processor and pulse a few times.)  Press mixture into the prepared pan with wet fingers or a spatula.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown slightly.  Let cool completely before slicing.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge (or freeze for a quick, fresh snack).

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