Monday, August 18, 2014

EASY Gluten-Free Granola Bars


Snacking on quality granola bars can get expensive -- especially when they're the healthy kind. To borrow a line from Forrest Gump, "I could eat about a million and a half of these." My two year old hijacked a piece of my delicious Kind Bar, then cried when I proceeded to finish my snack. There's no way I can fund two of these addictions, so I grabbed the browning bananas out of the fruit bowl, a box of oatmeal, and the bag of chia seeds from the pantry.

I like Bakery on Main's Maple Multigrain Muffin oatmeal because it's gluten-free, non-GMO, and tasty! For those who can eat gluten without any problems, any brand of oatmeal will suffice. If you're using PLAIN oatmeal, then you'll want to add about half a cup of honey for sweetness. I used maple flavored, and it was plenty sweet. You can easily mix your favorite add-ins to this basic recipe (chocolate chips, coconut flakes, flax, hemp, a scoop of your favorite nut butter...), but we were coming off of a weekend chocolate chip cookie high, so I kept it basic.

To obtain a granola bar consistency, the trick is to spread the mixture fairly THIN in your baking pan (no more than half an inch thick), so stay away from small baking dishes for this recipe. One of my first attempts in a small baking dish led to a thicker outcome...but it tasted like oatmeal banana bread, so I didn't consider it a failure! (In fact, I'll purposely recreate that "mistake" in the fall so I can enjoy healthy banana bread.)

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