Granola Bars

Adapted from Ina Garten

I changed the original recipe quite a bit. I was worried about it being too sweet and took out the brown sugar altogether, and am definitely glad that I did. I was also worried after reading some reviews that the butter would make the bars greasy, so I cut the amount down from 3 tablespoons to 1. I couldn’t find wheat germ in the store so I substituted flaxseed meal, but either option would work. My favorite dried fruits are apricots and cranberries, but you can use anything that you like or have on hand.

Also - not a fan of bars? Just break this up into pieces and you can eat it as your morning breakfast cereal.

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups chopped dried fruit

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 by 12-inch baking sheet and line it with greased parchment paper, or a Silpat.

Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer to a large bowl and add in flaxseed meal. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees.
Combine the butter, honey, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dried fruit and stir the mixture together.

Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Allow to cool for at least 2-3 hours and then cut into squares.
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