National Granola Bar Day- January 20th

National Granola Bar Day is here!  As a kid, I loved the Quaker Oats Chocolate Chip Granola Bars, and I remember being jealous of a girl in grade school because she always had a Kudos Bar in her lunch bag.  I guess you could say I have had a thing for granola bars for a long time!  While some are high in fat and sugar, they usually contain fiber and grains which are good for your system.  Another good factor is they are really easy to make.  You can find all sorts of recipes for peanut butter bars or chocolate chip, but this is one of my favorites.  Try it the next time your in the mood for something sweet.

Blueberry Maple Granola Bars

3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats(not instant)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

1/2 cup canola oil

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 large egg

1 tsp canilla extract

1/2 cup dried blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 8-inch square baking pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, making sure there is a 1-inch overhang all round the sides of a pan.  These will be used as “handles” to remove the granola bars from the pan once they are baked.  Set aside.  Spread the oats, walnuts, and sunflower seeds on an ungreased baking sheet and bake until they are lightly toasted, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes.  This should take about 10 minutes.  Remove baking sheet from the oven and allow the mixture to cool completely before proceeding.  In a small mixing bowl, whick together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt until well combined.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the canola oil, brown sugar, and maple syrup until the mixture is smooth and well blended.  Stir in the egg and vanilla extract.  Stir int he flour mixture until it is just incorporated.  Stir in t he oat mixture until everything is well combined.  Stir in the dried blueberries.  Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.  Bake the granola bars until they are set, about 25 to 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.  Lift the foil “handles” on either side of the pan to remove the slab of granola bars from the pan.  Place them ona cutting board.  Cut into desired size and shape bars.  Makes about 16 bars.


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