Crunchy Good-for-You Granola Bars

Crunchy, Good-for-You Granola Bars

Yield: 12 bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

1½ cups puffed kamut (or puffed rice or puffed wheat)
1½ cups traditional rolled oats (not the quick-cook kind)
½ cup Grape-Nuts cereal
1/3 cup dried cranberries or chopped dried apricot (or mix of both)
1/3 cup salted sunflower seeds
¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
Dash of cinnamon
3½ tablespoons almond butter (can substitute soy butter or peanut butter), creamy or chunky
3½ tablespoons brown rice syrup
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line and 8- or 9-inch square pan with a long sheet of parchment paper (so ends extend over edges of pan).

2. Mix the puffed kamut, oats, Grape-Nuts, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and cinnamon in a large bowl.

3. In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the almond butter, brown rice syrup, honey, brown sugar and vanilla until sugar has melted and the almond butter has thinned.

4. Pour the liquid mixture on top of the dry ingredients, mixing well. When everything is equally coated, spread the mixture into the pan. Press the mixture down with the bottom of a measuring cup or the back of a wooden spoon. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

5. When you remove the pan from the oven, again use the back of a wooden spoon to press the bars flat. Allow to cool completely before touching them again.

6. When totally cooled and hard, lift the ends of the parchment and put onto a cutting board and cut into bars or squares. I wrapped the individual bars in foil and stored them in a ziploc bag at room temperature.

(Recipe adapted from The Kitchn)