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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Gorilla Bars

We love granola bars in our house, but trying to find some that are school and daycare safe is not so easy, since nearly every granola bar I've ever found contains nuts.

Enter my friend Heather, who has a fantastic recipe for what her kids (and now my kids) call "Gorilla Bars." It's easily adaptable and forgiving, and I've made it nut-free for packing in lunch boxes. Even better, they are full of whole grains and seeds and actual goodness without any of the preservatives and chemicals in store-bought granola bars.

The only problem with these bars is that they are so delicious and addictive, you will want to eat the whole pan in one sitting.

1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups rice krispie style cereal
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (or nuts of your choice, if you don't need nut free)
1/4 cup whole flax seeds
1 cup dried fruit of your choice (I use 1/2 c. each raisins & craisins)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (technically optional, but really mandatory)

1/2 cup brown rice syrup (or you can use honey)
1/2 cup sunflower butter (or use peanut butter, if you don't need nut free)
1 tsp. vanilla

In a small shallow pan, melt together syrup/honey and sunflower/peanut butter over low heat, and then stir in vanilla.  Mixture will get very hot. Stir well to break up all lumps.

In a bowl, mix all dry ingredients except chocolate chips.  Pour syrup mixture over dry ingredients and mix well to coat thoroughly. Stir in chocolate chips once this mixture has cooled slightly, so that they don't melt everywhere.

Line a 9x9 baking pan with wax paper. Press the mixture into the pan very firmly. By the time you're done, it should be only tall enough to come halfway up the pan. (If you don't compact it well, the bars will just crumble into bits rather than holding their shape.)

Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before cutting. Makes 16 bars.

I dare you to get them to last 4 days.


LceeL said...

Oh, yummy.

RubysMama said...

Awww...gorilla bars. You can also add some fun stuff like broken pretzel pieces or even those colorful candy coated sunflower seeds. By the way...I put the chocolate chips on a plate in the freezer while I'm doing everything else and then you can just stir them at the end. <3 to you my friend :)

CC said...

These are SPECTACULAR! My 2 year old loved them....as did everyone else in the family! I'm going to try the broken pretzel pieces idea and freeze the choco chips as suggested! I used Ghiredelli dark chocolate chips. YUUUUUUM!


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