whole grain energy bars


Here is a fun, easy recipe for granola bars that pack a real nutritional punch! They are portable, delicious, and will keep your kids full and naturally energized (they're not loaded with icky stuff like so many store-bought bars)! The recipe can be adapted any number of ways to make your family happy. Swap out different types of nuts... add dried fruit... omit the chocolate... just have fun with it! And don't forget to get the kiddos involved. They can help measure out ingredients and stir!

Ingredients:

2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup raw nuts (we like a combo of almonds, walnuts & cashews)
1/2 cup raw seeds (try sunflower & pumpkin)
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
2/3 cup honey
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of course salt
1 cup dark chocolate ships or chunks

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Line 13x9" baking pan with foil or parchment paper (for easy removal), and butter all sides.

Toast oats, nuts & seeds, and coconut on a cookie sheet in the oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring peanut butter, honey, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt to a simmer to a small saucepan. Reduce heat to low.

Transfer toasted mixture to a large mixing bowl, and add the flaxseed.

Carefully pour the wet mixture into the bowl, and stir until fully combined; incorporate the chocolate chips.

Transfer mixture to the prepared pan, and use the back of a spoon to pack it in really well.

Bake for 30 minutes. Cool in the pan for a few hours, then cut into bars and enjoy!


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