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Monday, July 11, 2011

Chewy Low Fat Granola Bars

There are so many ways you can customize these bars that we may put the granola bar company out of business.
Chewy Low Fat Granola Bars
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Yield: 24 bars

2 cups regular rolled oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup wheat germ
¼ cup rice krispies or puffed rice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey, maple syrup or agave
1 egg, beaten
1 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup of an optional mix in or several that are all equal to a cup
**Ideas: raisins, craisins, mini m&m’s, mini chocolate chips, snipped dried apricots, marshmallows, peanuts, peanut butter chips, coconut, almonds, pecans, trail mix, walnuts, hazelnuts, almost any kind of freeze dried or dehydrated fruits apples, berries, pineapple... the sky is the limit really, use your imagination!

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and liberally grease a 9x13 inch baking pan or use parchment (I prefer parchment- this makes lifting them from the pan and cutting them much easier.
In a large bowl, add the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, rice cereal, cinnamon, allspice, flour, mix in’s and salt. Mix thoroughly. Make a well in the center and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the honey/maple syrup/agave, egg, applesauce, and vanilla. Then pour the wet ingredients into the well in the center of the oat mixture. Mix everything together until everything is well coated. Then pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan using your hands.

To ensure chewiness leave a 1 inch space at the end of the pan. Don't worry about it spreading. It will cook exactly as where it sits. *If i’m incuding m&m’s in my bars I place a few on top just before baking so that they look good.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven. Do not overcook. Granola bars are done when the edges begin to brown (the center may still appear undone).  ***Cool for five mins, then cut into bars while they are still warm. If you wait to long the bars will be too difficult to cut into bars.
Store in the fridge.