Homemade Thick and Chewy Granola Bars

Healthy, portable, and delicious granola bars packed with assorted nuts, seeds and dried fruit. I have been looking for a chewy granola bar for a while now. It seems like many of the recipes that I have tried that claim to be chewy, just fall apart when you cut them. I wanted a granola bar that is truly chewy but also holds its shape when cut and while I am shoving it into my mouth. ;)  This recipe definitely fits the bill!

Since these granola bars have coconut oil in them, they’re best kept in the fridge. You can even freeze them if you wish (they thaw perfectly). My favorite thing about these granola bars is that they are easily customized to taste with your own favorite fruits and nuts. I used a combination of my favorite nuts and fruits but you can definitely try using any combination of nuts, chopped dried fruits, candy-coated chocolate pieces, or miniature chocolate chips. Hmmmm…raisinets anyone? Now we’re talking! :D

Homemade Thick and Chewy Granola Bars

Healthy, portable, and delicious granola bars packed with assorted nuts, seeds and dried fruit.

Yield: 16 bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours and 20 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups assorted nuts (I used pecans, almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts), divided
1 cup old fashioned oats, divided
1 cup dried fruit (I used cherries, blueberries, raisins, and cranberries)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon flax seeds
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Butter the bottom and sides of a 8 X 8 inch baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process 1 cup of assorted nuts and 1/2 cup old fashioned oats until fine. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats, dried fruit, sesame seeds and flax seeds; mix well and set aside.Roughly chop the remaining nuts and add to the bowl.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the honey, coconut oil, salt, vanilla extract, almond extract, and cinnamon to a boil. Cook for about 1 minute, then pour over the nut mixture and mix thoroughly to coat all the ingredients.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Using a small piece of parchment paper, press mixture evenly into pan; refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.
Using a sharp knife, cut chilled granola into bars. Wrap individually in saran wrap and store in the fridge or freezer.

Source: adapted from Iowa Girl Eats originally adapted from Joyful Abode

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