I made these granola bars all summer as a healthier and lower waste alternative to commercial granola bars. After reading a lot of recipes, I decided to take the best parts of each of them and create something myself.  A few months later, these are tried and true.

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I used a kitchen scale, so all the measurements are in dry weight. You will also need a rubber spatula and parchment paper. I normally wouldn’t use parchment paper because of the waste, but this recipe needs it for taking them out of the pan – I use one big sheet to line the bottom and edges. The edges make good handles for pulling the granola cake out. You can reuse the same sheet of parchment paper to wrap them up when they are finished.

makes about 18

7 oz whole rolled oats
1.5 oz wheat germ
3 oz nuts
1 oz sesame seeds
1 oz sunflower seeds
1 oz green pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

6 oz dried fruit
1 oz flax seeds
3/4 tsp (give or take) spices

4 oz honey
1.75 oz brown sugar
2 oz maple syrup
1 oz butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

1. Toast the dry ingredients (in the top tier) at 350 F for about 10-15 minutes. Cool slightly. Turn the oven down to 300.
2. Meanwhile, melt the sugars, vanilla, salt and butter (bottom tier) into a syrup over medium-low heat. Stir frequently. It’s ready when all of the brown sugar has dissolved. If this is ready before you are finished toasting, turn the heat to low.
3. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, mix together the flax, spices and dried fruit.
4. Add and mix the toasted dry ingredients. Add the syrup and mix WELL.
5. Press the mixture really firmly into a large baking dish (8×13 or 10×14 – I cant remember) that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
6. Cool COMPLETELY and cut. (If you don’t cool them ALL the way they crumble.*)

Enjoy!

Adapting the recipe is really easy – just substitute whatever fruit, nuts and spices you want. If you want to change the flavors and ingredients even more, just make sure that the ratio of dry to wet ingredients stays the same. I think these are my best adaptations, but please let me know if you try out something delicious.

Cherry Maple Pecan – dried fruit = cherries, nuts = chopped pecans, spices = 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Korma – fruit = 2 oz chopped candied ginger, 4 oz chopped dried apricots, nuts = sliced almonds, no sesame seeds or pepitas – instead use dried coconut, no maple syrup, all honey, spices = 1/2 tsp ground cardamom, 1/2 tsp garam masala, 1/2 tsp curry powder, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp cumin

Mixed Nut & Chocolate – replace maple syrup with crunchy peanut butter, reduce butter and pepitas each to 1/2 oz, no spices, sunflower seeds or fruit: the extra ounces get redistributed as 2 oz pecans, 2 oz almonds, 2 oz cashews, 2 oz dried coconut (all toasted with/ as dry ingredients) and 3 oz chocolate chips, added when you’d normally add fruit. Let the dry ingredients cool all the way and let the syrup cool most of the way before mixing everything together (or else the chips will melt into the general mixture rather than being a little more defined).

*I always use any extra crumble as regular granola.

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