Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Granola Bars

If granola bars were human, I'm pretty sure they'd fall into the superhero category.  They're small, but pack a big punch, if you know what I mean- instant energy, nutrition, and delicious flavor :)   I'm counting on these to be super enough to get me through school tomorrow.

These are simple and fast...the only hard part is waiting for them to cool before cutting them into bars.  If you've never made granola bars before (like me, before these!), this is a great recipe to start with! I love the flavor combo and the chewiness, and I have a feeling I'll be making these again.  There's a small voice whispering in my ear that next time it might be wise to throw in some peanut or almond butter ;)

Low Fat Granola Bars with Bananas, Cranberries, and Pecans

3 1/2 cups oats
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3 large ripe bananas
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup dried cranberries
2 Tbsp ground flax seed
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper, leaving about one inch to hang over the edges.

Spread out the oats and chopped pecans on a baking sheet.  Place in the oven until they are lightly toasted, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a medium bowl, mash bananas with a fork and stir in applesauce.  

Transfer the oats and pecans to a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.  Stir to combine.

Stir the banana mixture into the oat mixture until well combined and starting to clump together.  Transfer to the prepared baking dish and press into pan evenly.

Bake until bars are golden brown and starting to separate from sides of dish, about 30 minutes.

Let cool on a wire rack 15 minutes.  Lift out of dish using parchment paper, and let cool to room temperature before cutting into bars.

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