Friday, August 16, 2013

The Best Homemade Granola Bars

Happy Friday Everybody!

 We are enjoying our Friday playing "lots and lots," and taking a walk to the park.  This weekend we get to enjoy the Iowa State Fair.  Last year was my first year attending and we are looking forward to heading back this year.  Our food choices will be a little more limited this year (I'll miss you Tom Tom donuts) but I'm sure we will have a great time!  Our little 3 year old princess also gets fitted for her dance attire tomorrow.  Can you imagine how cute she'll be in her dance leotard, tights and shoes?!?!  I think I might be more excited than she is!

We also celebrated baby boys 6 month birthday yesterday!  6 months old I can hardly believe it!  He's getting into everything now.  So much scooting and inch-worming along.  He loves to watch his big sister play and eats big boy baby food now.  He's such a happy little guy!

Now onto the good stuff.  I would venture to say these are the Best Homemade Granola Bars you will EVER MAKE!  I know that is a big statement - but these are AMAZING!  Plus, they can be customized however you like them.  We enjoy ours 'free life' style, but many people I have shared the recipe with make it using 'regular' ingredients.  Whatever you decide to do .... JUST MAKE THEM!  You won't be sorry - I promise!

Healthier than boxed granola bars, these yummy, gooey treats are filling and just down right delicious.  They taste like you are eating a dessert.  Plus, they do not have a ton of ingredients in them!  Have I convinced you yet?  Try them!

Start by mixing up your dry ingredients; oats, flour, baking soda and brown sugar.  I used oat flour, but you could use regular flour and they will taste just as good!

Then add the liquids; honey, melted vegan butter (but you could use margarine or regular butter) and vanilla.

Then mix it up!

Here's where you get to be a little creative.  We like ours with chocolate chips (vegan-style) but you could use whatever you like!  My mom and dad enjoy add dried cranberries and almond slivers to theirs.  Other types of nuts would be great too.  Or white chocolate chips and cranberries.  Or marshmallows.  Oh the possibilities are endless!

It helps if you have a helper who likes to add the chocolate chips too! She started off all nice and cute using a measuring spoon .....

But then decided dumping was much more fun!

Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes, let cool and enjoy!  I store mine in the refrigerator to keep them hard, but they don't last long!

The Best Homemade Granola Bars
Based on the granola bars found at the co-op in the Iowa City area

2 1/4 cups oats
1/2 cup oat flour (or regular flour, you pick!)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup vegan butter, melted (you can use regular butter or margarine too!)
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons brown sugar
A few handfuls vegan chocolate chips ~ optional

1.  Mix all of your dry ingredients together (oats, flour, baking soda, sugar)
2.  Melt butter
3.  Add wet ingredients (vanilla, butter, honey) to dry ingredients.
4.  Mix well
5.  Add whatever toppings you like.  I used vegan chocolate chips
6.  Grease an 8x8 glass dish and press bars into pan. (I've only ever used a glass dish and it works great!)
7.  Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes


Have a great weekend!

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