Granola Bars
Mill City Cooks

Brenda’s Granola Bars

By: Brenda Langton

Brenda Langton, founder of the market and owner of Spoonriver restaurant, shares an easy and economical alternative to store bought granola bars–perfect for those of us with dietary restrictions in our families, since ingredients can easily be substituted!

Image from abeautifulmess.com.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
  • 2 cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup sunflower or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup maple syrup or honey
  • ¾ cup peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, loosely packed
  • ½ cup pitted dates pureed in 3/4 cup apple juice
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped if desired
  • 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom

Method

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Oil a 8 x 12-inch baking dish.

Toss the oatmeal, almonds and sunflower seeds together on a sheet pan and bake for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.

Place the oil, maple syrup, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat. Stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal and nut mixture. Add coconut with the spices and salt. Add the dates and cranberries and stir well.

Press the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Let sit for a few hours before cutting into squares.