Best granola bars EVER

I’ve been getting myself addicted to Kind bars lately — they are delicious, nutritious, and come in so many fun flavors! But at about $2 a bar, they really add up over time… So what better way to keep up my granola bar habit AND be fiscally responsible than to make my own!

For about 12-16 bars you will need:

2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup flax seeds
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
2/3 cup honey
2 tbsp butter (optional, for a little added richness)
1/2 cup almond butter
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1 cup dried cranberries (or fruit of your choice!)
Optional: dark chocolate & sea salt

Preheat your oven to 350, combine the oats, flax seeds & coconut on a sheet pan and toast for about 10 minutes, tossing occasionally. Pour the oat/flax/coconut combo into a large bowl and set aside. Turn the oven down to 300.

In a small saucepan, combine the honey, butter (if using), almond butter, vanilla & salt, bring to a boil and cook for a minute, stirring frequently.

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Pour this mixture immediately over the oats and stir until combined. Add the cranberries (or other dried fruit) and mix lightly until incorporated.

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Pour everything into a 8″ by 12″ pan, greased and lined with parchment paper. Wet your fingers and press the mixture down in the pan until it is in one even layer. Be careful, it is VERY HOT!

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Bake the granola mixture for about 25 minutes or until slightly golden brown.

If you are feeling like a little added deliciousness, chop up 3.5 oz of good dark chocolate, and sprinkle it evenly over the bars when they have about 5 minutes to go. When they come out of the oven, use the back of a spoon to smear the chocolate into a uniform layer. Then sprinkle with a bit of sea salt!

Allow the block of granola to cool for at least 3 hours (or overnight!) before slicing into bars.

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Store them in an airtight container at room temperature and they will keep for at least a few days. These are perfect for breakfast on the go, or a mid afternoon snack!

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