Homemade Granola Bars

Best homemade granola barsMaybe granola bars should have their own food group. Sure, they fit in the grains and nuts. But what if you add dried fruit. And what if you add chocolate. Yeah, I know, confusing right? And I’ll be honest with you, these granola bars really on the line between healthy snack and dessert food. But not so on the line that I didn’t eat one for breakfast this morning. 🙂Easy homemade granolaGranola bars, makes 10 (or more/less depending how you cut them)

2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used sweetened but unsweetened is good too)
1/4 cup pistachios
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey or light corn syrup (I used honey)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
7 oz. dark chocolate

Combine the oats, almonds, coconut, pistachio , chia seeds and olive oil. Stir so that everything gets coated in the oil. Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes, just until toasty. Homemade granola bar recipeIn a pot over medium heat stir together the butter, sugar, honey and vanilla extract until the butter melts. Bring to a boil then remove from the heat. In a bowl combine the granola and butter mixture so that all the granola gets coated. Line an 8×8 square pan with parchment paper. Press the granola mix into the pan. Bake at 300°F for 25-28 minutes.Homemade granola bars!Remove the granola from the pan and cut into bars. The granola bars will be soft so be careful removing them from the pan. Granola bars with chocolate bottomsMelt the chocolate in the microwave or on the stove top. Add a thin layer of chocolate to the tops of the bars and use your spoon to spread the mixture out over the bars. Now lay a piece of wax paper over the bars and lightly press it into the chocolate. Invert a cooling rack and place it on top, then flip the bars onto the cooling rack so that the chocolate is now on the bottom.Adding chocolate to granola barsDrizzle just a little more chocolate over the tops. Allow the chocolate to set (to speed up the process you can pop these in the refrigerator for a bit) then slice through the cuts again. Yum!Crunchy granola barsStore these in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. If your house is a little on the warm side this season (like mine is) you can also store these in the refrigerator so the chocolate doesn’t melt. Happy snacking! xo. Emma

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