February 10, 2010
So I set out to make up my own. It took a couple of tries but I think the recipe below is nearly perfect. The syrup that binds the bars is made from natural sugars (dates and brown rice syrup) and protein (peanut butter), but neither in copious amounts so the end result isn't too calorie heavy or sugary.
Let me know if you try any good combinations. I'm think a cinnamon raisin almond butter variety will be next for me!
Crispy Peanut Butter Granola Bars
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup crisp brown rice cereal
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup raw almonds, chopped
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup dried fruit of choice [I used a mix of cherries and raisins]
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
scant 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil (unrefined and virgin is best)
Line an 8x8 brownie pan with parchment paper. Make sure to leave some hanging over the side so you can easily pull out the bars.
In a large bowl, mix oats, cereal, sunflower seeds, almonds, coconut and dried fruit. Set aside.
Add the dates to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they form a nearly smooth paste. Add the peanut butter, brown rice syrup, and coconut oil to the food processor and pulse until the mixture is uniform.
Scrape the syrup mixture into a small saucepan and heat over medium-low until it is slightly more liquidy.
Pour warm syrup over the dry ingredients and mix until combined (this will not be easy because the syrup is so thick but it will happen). Once everything is combined pour the mixture into prepared brownie pan and press down very firmly and evenly until the whole pan is coated.
Place pan in the refrigerator for at least 40 minutes until the bars are cold and hardened (alternatively, you could place them in the freezer for a shorter amount of time but I haven't tried this). Pull the bars out of the pan using the sides of the parchment and transfer to a cutting board. Using a VERY sharp knife, cut into 10 granola bars.
Wrap each bar in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat. (They hold up fine out of the fridge, but the cold helps them stay slightly more solid.)