Blueberry Granola Bars

Sundays are my day to catch up. Usually Sundays start out with a lazy breakfast at home (yesterday was veggie frittata and chocolate chip pancakes) followed by errands, cleaning, and cooking. I try my hardest to prep as much as possible on the weekend to make my life easier during the week. It is so comforting to come home and either not have to worry about dinner (thank you, Crock-pot) or contribute minimal effort for a nutritious meal. On a good Sunday I throw an extra recipe or two into the prepping routine.

This weekend I was inspired by this:

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The Grainery brand freshly milled oats. What caught my eye was the rustic grinding machine in a local market. The intentionally distressed wood combined with the brass fixture definitely stood out to someone who has a guilty pleasure of indulging food politic books and reminiscing about a simpler time in the food world. The concept is simple: why purchase oats that have been ground weeks or months before you need them? These oats are ground to order to maintain their texture, nutrients, and flavor. Genius!

I made a  big batch of cinnamon oatmeal the next day but couldn’t stop there; I needed some granola bars in my life too! I am blown away by how delicious they turned out…sometimes I even surprise myself. Make a batch to have on hand for a grab-and-go breakfast item, to serve as a snack, or pair with coffee for dessert.

Ingredients

Note: Make the granola bars gluten free by using certified gluten free oats!

  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter (or your favorite nut butter)
  • 1/2 c. coconut oil, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. oats
  • 1/3 c. dried blueberries
  • 1/4 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 c. peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

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In a large bowl combine brown sugar, honey, peanut butter, coconut oil, egg, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.

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Whisk until completely smooth; it will be a lusciously thick mixture that will hold the granola bars together.

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Next add the oats, dried blueberries, chopped walnuts, and peanut butter chips.

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Stir with a spatula until all ingredients are coated with the wet ingredients. Line a 9 x 9 baking dish or other medium sized casserole dish with tin foil (this will help with removing the granola bars later).

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I used an oval casserole dish because my 9 x 9 dish was otherwise occupied with some beautiful chocolately brownies for the Super Bowl. It was totally worth it.

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Spread granola mixture into the baking dish until it is evenly coated; lightly press with the spatula to make sure it is compacted.

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Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden brown on top. Let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.

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Now here comes my genius granola bar discovery…are you ready? Put the baking dish in the freezer for 30 minutes and they will slice like a dream; no crumbling! I really felt like a big deal cook when I discovered this. Wrap each granola bar in plastic wrap to keep them fresh.

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Share with your husband, your significant other, your parents, or your kids. Everyone loves a granola bar! Enjoy!

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