As you may recall – I am a breakfast feign. Without it, I am seriously lost like the TV show. I have a tendency to get – uh – how do I say this? Cranky. Really, really cranky. My “hangry” face is feared throughout all the land. Don’t try to take me shopping, out for a walk or even to church pre-breakfast. It won’t be pretty.
My husband, on the other hand, has a much less demanding digestive system. I believe he possesses magical powers that allow him to conduct an entire day of productivity on little more than a few sips of [raw] milk. It’s weird. It’s baffling. He’s just powerful like that. As such, breakfast is not high on his list of priorities. In fact, it breaks my heart to say, but he’s a breakfast-discriminator.
My stomach internal gifts of perception have always told me how important breakfast is, but after reading this article, I acquired some handy dandy facts to backup my pontification. After reading this and about 64 other articles on why we should eat breakfast, it was clear: I must convert my husband.
But therein lies the rub (whatever that means). My breakfast-hating husband married the breakfast Nazi who was now armed with dangerous research to backup her nagging. Though he eventually surrendered, my guy did have a few breakfast stipulations:
- It must be quick.
- It must be tasty.
- It must be consumed sans fork, knife or plate, and potentially while driving a standard.
I knew just the thing: Magic Granola Bars.
These granola bars are magical for a variety of reasons: health, tastiness, adaptability and, ummm, the effect they have on your digestive system – if you get my drift.
Works. Like Magic. Every Time. Seriously. Go try them. Now. Don’t make me go all breakfast Nazi on you.
Magic Granola Bars
Servings: about 12-16 bars (depending on how you cut them)
Time: 20 min + cooling time
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, olive oil, or butter (to grease the pan)
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans or pistachios)
- 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup dried cherries (ALERT: read the label…these little punks are often sweetened with sugar)
- 1/2 cup chopped dried medjool dates (or prunes or both)
- 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
- 1/4 cup raw, organic [local] honey
- 1/4 cup[grade B] pure maple syrup + 1 Tablespoon
- 1/2 cup almond butter (or peanut or cashew butter)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Mediterranean sea salt
- Optional Spices: Cardamom, cloves, nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with oil.
- Mix chopped nuts, oats, shredded coconut and ground flax seeds and spread out on rimmed cookie sheet. Put in the oven and set timer for 3 to 4 minutes. Watch carefully! Remove from oven, stir and reset timer for another 4 minutes. Continue with the watchful stirring until the coconut is a toasted golden color. Remove from oven and cool. Mix in a large bowl with the raisins, dried fruit and chopped figs (Kitchen Aid works great).
- Combine honey, maple syrup, almond butter, 2 T coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt in saucepan and bring to low boil over low to medium heat. Turn to low as soon as it starts boiling. Stir constantly and let boil for 2-3 minutes. You want this thick enough to hold the bars together, but not so thick it’s hard to work with.
- Pour over the cereal mixture and stir well to mix it all together. A Kitchen Aid works best, but your arms will likely be more toned if you mix by hand.
- Spread into your prepared 9 x 13 inch pan, press firmly into pan, cover, and cool in the fridge before cutting into bar sizes. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
A note on variations:
Almost any type of nut, dried fruit, nut butter or sweet spice works well in this recipe. I even used apple butter last time around. Use whatever you have on hand! These granola bars are softy and chewy. If you’re a crunchy granola bar fan, pop these bad boys in the oven at 325 for 20 mins and allow to cool. Voila: crunchy granola bar goodness!
The Breakfast Nazi