I mentioned recently that I am not a fan of high fructose corn syrup, and I mentioned that Luke eats a lot (and therefore snacks a lot too). I started to get frustrated lately because I was having such a hard time finding reasonably priced granola bars that were healthy and natural to pack in Luke’s lunches so I decided to try making my own.
This recipe is based on Alton Browns Granola Bar recipe and is the third recipe that I have tried and so far we have loved them all, actually this is the first batch that we were able to get pictures of before they were gone. I think these would also be good with other dried fruit such as cherries, blueberries, raisins, or mango. As always feel free to let me know what you think!
Apricot Cranberry Granola Bars
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup flax seed
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 dried coconut (plus some some to sprinkle on top)
1/2 cup puffed rice (optional)
Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, wheat germ and flax seed onto cookie sheet. Place in the oven and toast for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While oat mixture is toasting combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract 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 toasting remove it from the oven and the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Pour mixture into the greased pan and press down using hands or a spatula to evenly distribute the mixture in the pan. Make sure that mixture is packed down to ensure that the bars stay together.
Bake for 25 minutes. Remove pan from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Cool for about 30 minutes before cutting. Using a serrated knife cut granola into squares of desired serving size making sure to cut all the way through the granola. Leave bars in pan until completely cooled.
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