i love granola bars! unfortunately, i can not imbibe in their sticky sweet chewy goodness. but i CAN make them for other people to enjoy! i went camping/hiking a few weeks ago, and could not pass up the opportunity to make these for my grain loving friends as a tasty and quick trail treat. something about autumn makes me think of granola bars.. the oats, nuts, dried berries.. yum! from what i hear, they turned out pretty great. the only crumb of criticism i got was that they should have had more blueberries in them. obviously, you could sub in any fruit or nut of your choice, or even to sub in a different nut butter. -soy, peanut, etc. but i would try to stick to the main list of ingredients other than that. it’s not easy to get a bar to be chewy and crunchy, but still hold together nicely. these bars were perfect in all of those ways, chewy, crunchy, and sturdy. and it seems they are still keeping together nicely, as i found one stashed in my husband’s desk.
i found this recipe online, but modified it to handle the larger amount of nuts i wanted to use. i think i came up with 24 or so bars. i just know that there were a lot. but they got gobbled up pretty quickly!! they make a nutritious handy breakfast on the go, snack, trail food.
blueberry cashew granola bars
1/2 cup bran cereal, like grape nuts
1 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup salted cashews
1 cup dried blueberries
sprinkling of sesame seeds if you have them
4 tbsp almond butter
5 tbsp honey
4 tbsp brown rice syrup
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
preheat oven to 350f. line a 9×9 square cake pan with long sheet of parchment paper. let paper hang over 2 ends. this will make removal easier.
combine nuts, oats, cereals, and blueberries in a large mixing bowl.
over low heat, warm almond butter, brown rice syrup, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon in small saucepan. keep it stirred. after a few minutes, it will become combined and thin. it will begin to bubble slightly around the sides. let it gently bubble for a minute, then remove it from heat and pour over and stir into dry mixture.
be sure the dry ingredients are well coated, then pour into 9×9.
press into cake pan with some amount of force. i put an oiled baggie over my hand to do this, so it wouldn’t stick. just be sure it is packed in nice and tightly, and that the whole thing is pretty level.
bake it for half an hour.
it will remain slightly soft until it is cool. once removed from the oven, press it back into the pan like you did before baking. set it aside to cool.
let it cool in the pan for an hour or so. run sharp knife along edges to release.
set huge block of granola onto cutting board, and slice into desirable sizes. i did traditional granola bar sizes.
again, these keep really well, even just at room temp. i wrapped mine up individually in parchment paper so my friends could easily grab them for hiking. you could stick them in a large tupperware container with parchment paper between layers. the only caution i’d use is don’t store them touching each other. i think they’ll become one pretty easily.