My family does not observe the holiday of "Superbowl Sunday". In fact, we don't watch or follow football at all...and yes, there are 4 men in my family. Instead of "watching sports" we "play sports". I decided I should do something American and at least cook a bunch of food on Superbowl Sunday...I went on to spend the better part of my day in the test kitchen. 2 loaves of banana nut bread, 2 trays of granola bars, one batch of Parmesan zucchini wedges, and 4 sweet potatoes later I decided to call it the quits and blog instead.
As many of you know I love all things granola. I have spent hours and hours perfecting my granola recipe. I have found much success in my various granola flavors, but have not been able to make a good granola bar. 2 years ago I became addicted to Kashi honey almond flax granola bars, and usually eat a box a week. I decided it was about time I came up with my own bar, I mean how hard can it be right? : ) A local baker here in Houston makes a wicked mean granola bar, my mom buys a few a week, but they cost about $3.00 a bar. The secret to his bar is that he grinds up the granola in a food processor. What a brilliant idea! Kudos to him, and bars for me : ). I now make a tray every weekend and it lasts about a week in our home. This is the recipe that I came up with...I love them and predict that they will be a constant snack staple in my life : )
1 cup natural (no sugar or added ingredients) chunky peanut butter
2/3 cup grape seed oil (or canola oil)
3/4 cup brown rice syrup (or honey)
1 tsp. vanilla
5 tbs. succant (natural sugar or brown sugar)
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 1/2 cup sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/8 cup whole flax seed (or sesame seeds)
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
6 cups of old fashioned oats (ground in a food processor for 8-10 pulses)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9 cake pan with non stick spray, cover with parchment paper. In medium saucepan on stove top melt the peanut butter, oil, syrup or honey, vanilla, and sugar - mix until smooth and blended together. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Stir until combined together. Should be a rather thick consistency. Spread evenly into prepared pan and press firmly down into pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow bars to cool completely before removing from pan and cutting into bars. Individually wrap in plastic wrap and then keep them in a sealed Ziploc bag for easy access. Enjoy!