Make Your Own Granola Bars

Hey everyone! I talk all the time about the need to continually snack to keep your metabolism up, and we talk about healthy options for those snacks! I usually pack a baggie of almonds or other low fat nuts, maybe some veggie sticks, anything that I can munch on every few hours to help keep me from being hungry and bingeing on that in n’ out around the corner! (Yes, even I crave in n’ out sometimes!)… It’s important to keep in mind what your goals are. As much as I love in n’ out, I love feeling and looking good more, so I’ll keep munching on those carrots and almonds! In the meantime, I just found a great recipe to make homemade granola bars! It’s awesome and I definitely recommend you trying it out! Let me know what you think!!!

SERVINGS

Makes approximately 18 1-oz bars

INGREDIENTS

1 tsp. butter

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1 1/2 cups pecan halves

1 cup dried sweetened cranberries

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1 1/2 cups brown rice crisp cereal

3/4 cup brown rice syrup

1/4 cup Grade B maple syrup

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cardamom

pinch ginger

PREPARATION

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spread the almonds and pecans on a cookie sheet and toast them in the oven for 6–8 minutes, or until they start to brown a bit.

2. In the meantime, grease a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with the butter (or PAM) and set aside. Now, mix the oats, rice cereal, cranberries and toasted almonds and pecans in a big bowl.

3. In a small saucepan, heat the syrups, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger and vanilla extract over medium-high heat, stirring to avoid burning. Once the syrups come to a light boil, continue to cook for an additional 3–5 minutes until the syrup begins to thicken, then pour it over the oats and nuts. Mix everything together so that the syrup evenly coats everything in the bowl.

4. While it’s still warm, pour the contents of the bowl into your prepared baking dish. Using a rubber spatula, pat everything down so it’s nice and compacted. I like to place some parchment or aluminum paper over the top and really press down so that the bars don’t break apart when you eat them.

5. Let cool to room temperature. You can also put them in the fridge for a bit since this’ll make cutting easier. Cut them into square or rectangles as you please.

ENJOY! =)