The BEST Granola Bars

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Right from the beginning of my clean eating challenge, I have been on the hunt for some tasty “clean” treats.

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One of the first things I attempted to make was granola bars. I mean how hard could it be, granola is already good for you and clean , right? Well…… I figured out very quickly it was not so easy.

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Its true you are putting a lot of Clean and healthy things into it, but a good granola bar needs to stick together, and when your removing refined sugars from the mix, things tend to get , the opposite of sticky.

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I also realized that you must bake your granola! I mean you don’t HAVE to, but it sure makes this adhere together.

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I must have gone through a gazillion (like 4) different recipes before I found this one. You can totally change up the ingredients as you see fit, I even made a batch where I threw in ½ cup of puffed quinoa for ½ cup of the oatmeal. The important thing is to keep the ratios the same. If you want to use pecans instead of almonds, make sure you replace it with the same amount.

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If you’re not crazy and giving up refined sugars, you can even dip these in chocolate like the original recipe says to do.

Best Granola Bars

[Adapted from http://www.dollyandoatmeal.com/blog/2013/03/01/chocolate-dipped-granola-bars?rq=bars]

3 Cups of Oatmeal
¾ Cups of Dried Cranberries
¾ Cups of Dried Blueberries
¾ Cup of Shredded Un-Sweetened Coconut
½ Cup of Slivered Almond
1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
½ Cup of Natural Smooth Peanut Butter
4 Tablespoons of ground Chia Seeds
½ Cup of Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1/3 Cup of Honey
3 Tablespoons of Orange Juice
½ Teaspoon of Vanilla

Line an 8X8 pan with parchment paper, make sure you use 2 pieces, and they drape over the sides of the pan, set aside. Pre Heat the oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl, mix together oatmeal, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, coconut, almonds and cinnamon. In a small bowl, mix peanut butter, chia seeds, apple sauce, honey orange juice and vanilla together.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.

Gently pout the granola into the pan, trying not to move the parchment paper around. Gently, press the granola into the pan, until even. Once it’s in place, press it down even further.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Gently lift (using the parchment paper) the granola bars out of the pan, and place directly on the cooling rack. Allow to cool completely, before cutting.

I cut mine into 16 square pieces, with a sharp paring knife. I did this gently. Some pieces will break off, that’s ok, that’s just more for you to eat.

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