From The Pantry Granola Bars
This recipe is very flexible and perfect for lives “on pause”, where frivolous trips to the grocery store in order to make granola bars are not exactly considered essential.
They are a sweet treat but are also packed with healthy fats, protein and fiber, great for breakfast or an afternoon snack. You can use any nut butter, whole nuts or seeds you have on hand such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds. Any of these would be delicious additions and/or substitutions. We happen to have raisins and dried cranberries in our pantry, but feel free to use any dried fruit here. I have made them with apricots, figs and dates, all with great success.
For extra crunch and flavor, I added some toasted millet, which is a tasty mineral-rich and gluten-free ancient grain. If you don’t have millet in your pantry, try substituting chia seeds, flax or quinoa, or skipping it altogether and adding 1/4 cup more oats. As for the sweetener, honey is my favorite but maple syrup, agave, or brown rice syrup would be fine.
3/4 cup nut butter (we used unsweetened all-natural peanut butter)
1/4 cup honey
2 Tablespoons coconut oil (olive oil or canola would be fine!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups oats
3/4 cup chopped nuts/seeds (we used almonds and peanuts)
1/4 cup toasted millet (you could also use quinoa)
3/4 cup dried fruit (we mixed raisins and cranberries)
Prepare a 9”x13” pan or 8”x 8” with parchment or wax paper. (if you don’t have wax or parchment, you can grease the pan with butter, oil or nonstick spray). Set aside.
Toast millet in a cast-iron skillet until light brown and fragrant, about 5-10 minutes. Set aside.
Heat nut butter, honey, and oil in a medium (2 or 3 quarts) pot. Stir as not to burn, until small bubbles begin to form. Remove from heat. Add salt and vanilla. Put remaining ingredients (oats, nuts, dried fruit, and toasted millet) into a large mixing bowl. Mix warm liquid ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir to incorporate.
Using a spatula spread mixture into the prepared pan. Place bars in the refrigerator for two hours, or until firm enough to cut. We cut ours into 2” x 3” and got about 16. Enjoy!