Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Granola Bars

Here's one of those "duh" things, OK? Those of you well-versed in life without gluten already know oats are off your diet. For those of you who look here for ideas you can make for friends and loved ones-- this is wheat-free but NOT gluten-free. End of disclaimer.

These granola bars are simple, inexpensive, and can be customized to just about any taste. They can be breakfast, afternoon snack, or trail food. The original version of this came from Quaker Oats website. I'll give you the instructions the way I usually make them, and list some options at the bottom.

Granola Bars
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 cups quick-cook oats (uncooked)
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
1 cup M&M's
1 cup raisins
1 cup peanuts
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Prepare a 13x9 by lining with foil, then grease (I use non-stick cooking spray.) Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well and spread into prepared pan. Make sure you don't pack too tight or these can come out hard enough to crack a tooth. Bake 25 - 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly; remove from pan and peel off foil. Cut into bars. Store loosely covered at room temperature. Makes 36 - 48 bars.

You can vary these with a cup of any of the following, or come up with your own ideas:
Sunflower seeds
Craisins (dried cranberries)
Chocolate chips
Nut pieces of your choice like walnut, cashews, etc.

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