Whether you're looking for a quick snack to have at home or something to take with you in your backpack, briefcase or purse, homemade granola bars are an easy choice. They are easy to make and loaded with oats, coconut and fruit.
makes 24 bars (3" x 1 1/2" in size)
2 cu Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1 cu Shredded Coconut
1 1/4 cu TVP (textured vegetable protein)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Salt
1 2/3 cu Dried Fruit (I used 2/3 cup each of Mangos, Peaches, Cranberries and Dates)
4 tbl Unsalted Butter
1/2 cu Brown Sugar
1/2 cu Honey
3 tbl Peanut Butter
Line a 9" x 13" baking with parchment paper on the bottom and two sides. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place oats and coconut in a large skillet over medium heat. Toast the ingredients by stirring constantly over the heat for about 4-5 minutes. Be careful not to burn the mixture…once it starts to toast the process happens very quickly. If it starts to smoke, remove the pan immediately. As the ingredients reach a relatively even consistency, transfer the ingredients to a large bowl. Once mixture has cooled a bit add the TVP, vanilla, salt and dried fruit. Mix together well.
Blend the butter, brown sugar, honey and peanut butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium high heat. Bring mixture to a boil and stir for one minute. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and mix well.
Pour ingredients into prepared baking dish and spread evenly. I usually put my hand into a small disposable plastic bag and push the mixture into the corners and flatten it slightly. Place baking dish in the oven for 25-30 minutes. I tent the baking pan with aluminum to keep the granola from browning too much.
Remove from oven and let mixture cool for 2 hour. Run a knife along any edges or sides not protected by the parchment paper and then invert the pan on a flat surface. Let me mixture cool for an additional hour. Cut the mixture into 3" x 1 1/2" bars (or any size you like). Layer bars o n parchment in an air tight container or wrap them individually in either plastic, foil or parchment.
Using the FDA's nutrition chart for the ingredients in this recipes, each bar is approximatesly 155 Calories, 3g Fat, 25g Carbs, 4g Protein.