July 18, 2011

Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars

Last year I was on a big kick of trying new, yummy recipes and posting them on my blog.
Then I got pregnant
and I couldn't stand the thought of food.
And then I had a baby
and have not had much time to be creative in the kitchen since.
Garrett has.
A few months ago, a friend of ours shared with us a recipe for homemade granola bars.
Since then, Garrett has been tweaking the recipe to his liking 
and I think we have a winner.
They are sooooo yummy!
You can eat them as a chewy granola bar, or crumble it up into a bowl and pour milk over it for some dang-good cereal.

After an exhausting week last week and what is shaping up to be another busy week, I decided that I may need some of these granola bars around for caloric sustenance, so last night I whipped up a double batch while Garrett wrestled and cuddled the little ladies. 

I thought I would share this recipe as I have already eaten two bars and Garrett took four with him to clinic today. (I probably should have quadrupled the batch)
They really are so delish!
Some of the ingredients are a little out-of-the-ordinary,
but well worth the investment.

Garrett's Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars with Almonds

1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla
4 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 cups dry rolled oats
1 cup chopped roasted almonds
1 cup dried cherries, chopped (chopping them a bit helps make the granola bar hold together better)

1. Spread oats onto a rimmed cookie sheet and bake in oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Take oats out and allow to cool.

2. Combine oats, almonds, cherries, and cocoa powder into a large bowl and mix well.

3. Combine the honey, agave nectar, coconut oil, and vanilla into a saucepan and bring to a boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

4. Remove honey mixture from heat and immediately add to the bowl with the oats.  Stir until all ingredients are well blended. 

5. Press the oats into a 9x9 inch square pan lined with aluminum foil and well-greased.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

6. Remove and allow to cool completely (usually takes a few hours) before cutting into bars.

*You can experiment using different nuts, seeds, and dried fruits.  You may also leave the cocoa powder out.  I have just become particular to this combination of ingredients, and let's be honest, chocolate makes the world go 'round.

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