Almond Butter & Cranberry-Coconut Granola Bars

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My boyfriend is a hungry bear… and by hungry bear I mean like the hungriest Grizzly bear there is.

Okay, so this may be a slight exaggeration, but seriously there are days when it seems like his appetite can never be tamed. So in an effort to keep his tummy happy and to avoid him becoming too hangry to function, I am always looking for great homemade snacks that easy for me to store in my bag for emergency hangry situations when we are out and about on the weekends. That’s right – I carry around emergency snacks in my purse for my adult boyfriend should he desperately need it… is this weird? I personally don’t think it’s weird because not only does this mean that we save a ton of money on fast food, but it also means that we keep our snacks super healthy.

One of my favourite on-the-go snacks to whip up for Cole is a batch of homemade granola bars.
There are so many benefits to making your own granola bars as opposed to buying them from the store, and I could go on for hours, but in the interest of saving time, let me just list my top five reasons to go with homemade rather than store bought…
1. Homemade granola bars are way more cost effective
2. Homemade granola bars are so much healthier than your typical store bought alternative
3. You can customize your homemade granola bars with all of your favourite ingredients!
4. They are so EASY to make!
5. And most importantly… homemade always tastes better – am I right?

Cole loves granola bars, so I always stuff mine full of healthy super foods that I know will keep his hungry belly full for an extended period of time. This recipe is chock full of healthy ingredients like calcium and protein rich almonds, antioxidant rich cranberries, zinc, magnesium and omega 3 rich pumpkin seeds, fiber rich oats, and cholesterol decreasing flax seeds. And just in case that wasn’t enough to make you start getting out the ingredients to whip up a batch, all these super foods are held together by delicious, all-natural almond butter, honey and spices that make them completely irresistible.

Honestly, this is one of the easiest and yummiest ways to insert healthy foods into your families diet on a daily basis (without them even knowing they are eating healthy!) Is it wrong of us to want pull the wool over our families eyes when it concerns their health? I say no way! So here is the recipe for my delicious and nutritious homemade granola bars – Enjoy!

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White Chocolate Cranberry Granola Bars

Things you need… 
3 cups rolled oats, toasted
2 1/2 cups brown Rice Crispies cereal
1/2 cup coconut, shredded (I used unsweetened)
1 cup almonds, toasted & roughly chopped
3/4 cup dried cranberries, sweetened or unsweetened
(I used unsweetened)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp flax seeds
3/4 cup almond butter
3/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup yogurt chips or white chocolate
(optional – I used Yogurt chips)

How to make… 
Line a 9×11 inch pan with parchment paper; set aside.

Toast your oats & almonds at 350 degrees for 6-7 minutes being careful not to burn.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt almond butter and honey until fluid. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla, cinnamon and ginger to combine. Set aside to cool slightly (so as not to melt the white chocolate chips).

In a large mixing bowl, combine toasted oats, Rice Crispies, toasted almonds, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds, and flax seeds and stir to combine. Pour almond butter and honey mixture over ingredients and stir gently until everything is well coated. Gently add the white chocolate chips or yogurt chips.

Pour granola mixture into prepared pan and press firmly to the edges. Don’t be afraid to really press down and compact the bars – this will ensure that they do not crumble. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes.

Once refrigerated, remove the bars from the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into 18 equal granola bar squares.

Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks and enjoy this easy & delicious homemade snack anytime.

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This is easily my all-time favourite granola bar recipe. I just love the combination of the almond butter with the cranberries combined with hint of spice from the cinnamon and ginger – and as for sprinkling of yogurt chips… well I think that those little gems just speak for themselves.

As much as I love this recipe just the way that it is, I encourage you to put your own spin on it! Things like cranberries, almonds, and yogurt chips can be easily swapped out to suite your families taste preferences – so don’t hesitate to change it up!

So, have I got you jumping on the homemade granola bar train yet? I hope so, and I hope that If I have, that you come back and share your families personalized variations to this recipe! I would love to hear your feedback!

Happy baking!

KP xoxo

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