I just looked at recipes and reviews for at least 20 different homemade granola bars and decided that I would make my own using my favorite ingredients! I figured if they didn't turn out, no one would ever know but if they did turn out, I could post them. Yep - they were delicious! I used my hands to mix them because I wanted to make sure everything was mixed together really well.
4 c rolled oats (I used old-fashioned oats but I'm sure quick-cook oats would work)
1/3 c raw sunflower seeds
1/3 c sliced almonds
1 1/4 c peanut butter, I made homemade peanut butter from our archived recipes, Simply Homemade Peanut Butter
1/2 c honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 T coconut oil, melted
I mixed all of the ingredients in a large bowl with my hands, they should be almost a little sticky because you want them to stay together. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper and evenly pat the granola mixture into the pan, this will help them hold their shape after baking so they won't be so crumbly (you should expect a few crumbles though). I placed them in a preheated 300F oven for 15 minutes. Then I removed them from the oven and very carefully grabbed 2 ends of the parchment paper, then placed it on a cooling rack and cut the granola mixture into bars and squares before they cooled. I cut my bars down the middle (the length of the pan), then cut them the other way. I cut half of the granola into traditional granola shaped bars and the other half I cut into smaller squares. For me, they are better in small squares but the bars would be ok if you were eating them for a meal. I turned them over with a spatula and returned them to the oven for another 10 minutes. Then you can remove them from oven, let cool, and store in an airtight container. Enjoy your sort of crunchy, sort of chewy, healthy, nutty granola bars!
~ Simply Tammi