Granola bars: take two

Back in December, I made my first attempt at homemade granola bars. While they were very tasty, I made some changes to the recipe and made another , healthier and delicious batch yesterday. One of my favorite things about these bars is that you know exactly what you are biting into. I leave all the nuts whole, so when you get a cashew or almond, you know that it is a cashew or almond. There are no tiny bits leaving you wondering, “Did I just get a piece of nut or not?” These are crunchy, chewy, chunky, sweet and salty perfection!

Line a 9×13 pan with wax paper. If you are out of wax paper like me, non-stick aluminum foil or light oiled aluminum foil will do the trick.

In a large bowl, combine 1 1/4 cup quick oats, 1 1/4 cup cereal(I used the generic brand of GoLean Kashi), 3/4 cup dried fruit(cranberries, cherries, blueberries and strawberries), and 1 1/2 cup mixed nuts. Stir together until mixed well.

In a smaller, microwaveable bowl, combine 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and 1/2 cup light brown syrup.

Stir together. Microwave on high for two minutes. Next, stir in 1 tsp of vanilla.

Pour over dry contents. Stir together until dry ingredients are evenly coated by wet ingredients.

Transfer to 9×13 pan. Press out evenly with silicone spatula or piece of wax paper. Let cool for one hour.

Lift out of pan and cut into desired size. Store in airtight container.

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