Autumn Harvest Granola Bars

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For those of you heading out to the pumpkin patch like we are this weekend, make sure you have plenty of snacks for all of those hay rides, corn mazes, haunted houses, and pumpkin hunting that you’ll be doing! I love having a stash of these homemade granola bars in my pantry for days like this. A little sweetness, healthy nuts and quinoa, and some antioxidant-rich dark chocolate makes those special trips away from home a little easier when the tummy starts growling. The cool thing about these granola bars is that you can really put anything you want in them. I’ve made granola bars loaded with candied ginger for my wife when she was battling morning sickness; we’ve made them with dried blueberries and lemon zest during the summer to take camping or on long hikes; and these particular beauties are chock-full of delicious autumn flavors. As if the pumpkin festivals you’re headed to this weekend won’t have enough pumpkin flavored food (I’m hoping for some pumpkin sausage and pumpkin beer like I had the pleasure of eating last year!), these granola bars will definitely get those pumpkin-hunting juices flowing.

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Autumn Harvest Granola Bars

Yields 18 bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 1 cup dried cranberries and chopped, dried apples
  • ¾ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup pecans
  • 1½ tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp honey
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup flax seeds (optional)
  • 3 oz dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place oatmeal on a sheet pan and toast for 4 minutes. Repeat the same step for the sliced almonds, and quinoa. Toast the pecans for 5 minutes, rough chop, and place in the bowl. Mix in the dried fruit, flaxseeds, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and cinnamon to the bowl.

img_4245Line an 8×8″ cake pan with parchment paper that has been lightly coated in coconut oil (or veggie oil/butter, if you prefer). In a small saucepan on medium heat, add in the honey and vanilla extract. Boil the honey mixture until it reaches 300°F (roughly 2-3 minutes, if you don’t have a candy thermometer). Once the honey mixture is ready, add it to the nut-dried fruit mixture and stir until completely coated. Spread the mixture in the lined cake pan, pressing firmly into all of the edges and corners. Let cool for 1 hour. In a double boiler (or microwave, but be careful not to overcook), melt the dark chocolate until smooth. Using a fork, gently flick the chocolate across the granola bars in long ribbons. Cool for an hour, then cut into 18 bars.

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