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"Out of the Box" Granola Bars

  • recipe photo
  • Baking is one of the best ways to get kids into the kitchen. While my three love to bake cookies, I'm always on the lookout for something a little more wholesome, but still appealing. This fills the bill on all counts.

These let you have a say about what's in your granola bars. Plus, they're fun to make with the kids.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole oats
  • 2/3 cup crispy brown rice cereal
  • 1/4 cup ground flax (flax meal)
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup organic brown rice syrup*
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup creamy, salted peanut butter**

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper so that it drapes over two sides.

  • In a medium bowl mix together the oats, crispy rice cereal, flax, chocolate chips, and raisins.

  • In a separate small bowl combine the brown rice syrup, maple syrup, canola oil, and peanut butter. Mix until smooth.

  • Pour the syrup mixture over the oats and stir well until the two are thoroughly combined. It will be thick and sticky.

  • Put the batter in the pan and press down firmly to distribute it evenly along the bottom. You can fold the parchment over and use that to press down so the oats don't stick to your hands.

  • Bake until the top is evenly golden brown and the edges are a little darker, about 35 minutes.

  • Remove from the oven and cool before cutting.

Makes 18 Petite Bars

* Brown rice syrup is available in organic markets and specialty stores. If it's too much trouble to get your hands on a jar, substitute honey. The bars will be a little more crumbly but still tasty.

** Cashew butter is a suitable substitute for those with peanut allergies