Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fruit-Sweetened, Nut-Free Granola Bars

Warning: Making these WILL make your house smell like oatmeal cookies.

These were born out of wanting to change things up with my usual homemade granola bars. After some googling for inspriation, I stumbled across this recipe from the Cookin' Canuck. Plenty of grainy goodness and no additional sweetener needed? Excellent.

Of course, I made a few modifications. For one, since I'm deathly allergic to tree nuts, I replaced the nuts with a mix of sunflower and pumpkin seeds. I also upped the seeds and applesauce and went with an unsweetened dried fruit.

Nut-Free, Fruit-Sweetened Granola Bars (Yields 16 bars)
  • 3 1/2 c. whole oats
  • 1/2 c. sunflower seeds (shelled- raw, if available)
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin seeds (shelled- raw, if available)
  •  3 large, ripe bananas
  • 1 c. applesauce
  • 1/2 c. chopped, dried unsweetened cherries
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. cardomom
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbl. flax seeds
  • Olive oil spray (or olive oil in a mister)
1) Preheat oven to 350 F.
2) Mash banana and add applesauce, cherries, cinnamon & cardomom and let rest while oats & seeds are toasting. This will allow the cherries to plump back up a bit.
3) Pour oats & seeds onto a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil. Spray the top of the oat mixture lightly with olive oil
4) Place oat mixture into pre-heated oven until lightly toasted (approx. 10-15 min.), stirring every 3-4 minutes to evenly toast
5) When oat/seed mixture is out of the oven, let cool for 5-10 minutes then sprinkle salt and flax. Mix on baking tray to combine & pour into banana mixture
6) Stir until incorporated and pour into a 9x13 pan lined with parchment paper or foil sprayed with cooking spray, overlapping sides for easy removal
7) Let cool in pan approx. 10-15 minutes & remove from pan, using foil/parchment, then cool on wire cooling racks.
8) Slice into bars when cool


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