homemade granola bars

this summer, with no classes to occupy all of my time, i wanted to enjoy every moment in the kitchen + make more recipes from scratch. especially for drew. his graduate program in creative writing just started, he works three jobs + he plays in a band. needless to say, he's a little busy and therefore grabs the easiest (and cheapest) food to get him through his crazy days. one of the most unhealthy items he was relying on for fuel were store-bought granola bars full of high fructose corn syrup and other unpronounceable ingredients. it kills me that these bars are marketed as healthy when they're not made from real, whole foods. 

so, in between my hectic schedule of shopping, yoga + reading in the park, i squeezed in the time to make granola bars. these are so easy to make, it seems silly to ever buy them from the store again.

homemade granola bars 

1/2 cup all natural peanut butter 
1/4 cup honey 
1 banana, mashed 
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 
1 3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats 
1/3 cup coconut 
1/4 cup organic dark chocolate chips 
1/4 cup crushed cashews
    preheat oven to 350 degrees f. mix peanut butter, brown sugar, honey, banana and vanilla extract until smooth and set aside. add in oats, coconut, chocolate chips + cashews and mix well. press mixture into an 8 x 8 baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. allow complete cooling, then cut to your liking (i made 10 thin shorter bars so they resembled their evil cousin, the chewy bar).

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