Mark’s Granola Bars
1 c. steel cut oats
1 c. oatbran
1 c. sliced toasted unsalted almonds , coarsely chopped
1 c. flaked coconut, loosely packed
½ c. quick-cook oatmeal – toasted
3 T. margarine (I like Earth Balance)
1/3 c. honey (sometimes I’ll use a little agave nectar instead)
1/3 c. brown rice syrup
¼ c. brown sugar, lightly packed
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp sea salt, iodized (if available)
½ c. pitted dates, chopped
½ c. dried apricots, chopped
½ c. dried cranberries or cherries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
Toss the steel cut oats, oatmeal, oatbran, almonds and coconut together on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally until lightly browned. Transfer allto a large mixing bowl.
Lower oven temp to 300 degrees. Place margarine, honey, brown rice syrup, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over toasted oatmeal mixture. Add dates, apricots, and cranberries. Stir well.
Pour the mixture into prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until light golden brown. Cool for 1-2 hours. Cut into squares.