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Preservative free, crunchy, nutty, chewy, inexpensive deliciousness in a bar.  These granola bars are so easy to make and have a long list of flavor possibilities.  Almonds have excellent heart healthy fats.  And most of the sweetness coming from raw or pure, untreated honey, with a low glycemic index, will keep your blood sugar more stable than the sugar loaded packaged variety granola bars.

Wrap each individually in plastic wrap and you’ve got a versatile on-the-go snack.  Perfect portable munch for after workouts at the gym, a hike, vacation or kid’s games.  Here are five additional flavor combos/add-ins you could try:

  • Peanut butter, crushed peanuts, mini chocolate chips
  • Almond butter
  • Raisins, chopped dried apples, extra cinnamon
  • Pecans, dried cherries, orange zest
  • Walnuts, dried blueberries, lemon zest

Added bonus….you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry right now.  Super simple.  Try whipping some up this weekend. Also great crumbled over some fresh fruit and Greek yogurt for breakfast!

Almond Cranberry Granola Bars

makes 16 bars

  • 2 cups OATS, ROLLED
  • 3/4 cup WHEAT GERM
  • 2/3 cup SUNFLOWER SEEDS, UNSALTED
  • 1 cup WHOLE ALMONDS, UNSALTED, chopped
  • 2 cups PUFFED RICE CEREAL
  • 1 cup CRANBERRIES, DRIED
  • 1/4 tsp SALT, SEA
  • 3/4 tsp CINNAMON, GROUND
  • 2 tbsp BROWN SUGAR
  • 1 tbsp CANOLA OIL
  • 3/4 cup HONEY, PURE or RAW, (reserving 1 Tbsp), more or less to taste
  • 3 tbsp MAPLE SYRUP, 100% PURE, (or honey)
  • 1/2 tsp ALMOND EXTRACT
  • 1 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place oats, wheat germ, sunflower seeds and chopped almonds on an ungreased, rimmed baking sheet. Toast in oven for 6-8 minutes, until fragrant and golden in color (keep oven heated).

2. In a small saucepan combine honey, brown sugar, oil and maple syrup, over low heat, stirring just until combined. Remove from heat and add cinnamon, almond extract and vanilla extract.

3. Put toasted grains and nuts in a large mixing bowl with puffed rice, cranberries and salt.

Pour warm honey mixture over the top and mix well to coat (add more honey if not sticky enough).

4. Pour granola mixture in a cooking sprayed 9 X 13″ baking dish and pat down with wax paper to firm and stick together. Drizzle top with reserve 1 Tbsp honey and bake at 325 degrees for 5-6 minutes to harden.

Let cool and refrigerate for a few hours to finish setting. Using a sharp knife, cut into 16 bars and wrap each in plastic, freeze or refrigerate for a quick, easy, snack or breakfast. Makes 16 large bars.

NUTRITION INFO PER BAR: 275 calories, 10g fat, 1g sat fat, 35mg sodium, 43g carb, 6g fiber, 21g sugar, 8g protein

RECIPE CUT INTO 18 BARS: 250 calories, 9g fat, 39g carb, 5g fiber, 20g sugar, 7g protein/bar

RECIPE CUT INTO 20 BARS: 225 calories, 8g fat, 35g carb, 5g fiber, 18g sugar, 7g protein/bar

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