Oatmeal for breakfast day after day gets kind of boring. Trust me. Most mornings, that’s what’s on the menu for me. That’s where these granola bars come in. Yes, they’re sweet and delicious…but they’re also oatmeal!
As an added bonus, these are super easy to make. I whipped them up one day while I was cooking some other things.
Once they were done, I kept them in the freezer (in a freezer bag) and grabbed one in the morning before I ran out the door to work!
They’re also great for hiking. I wrap mine in plastic wrap to keep any crumbles from escaping. (So I can eat those too, of course!)
Here’s the recipe. Start by toasting the oats, nuts, and seeds for about 10 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when everything is starting to brown just a little bit. You’ll also start to smell the toasty pecans. When they hit this point, take them out of the oven and leave them on your counter to cool just a bit. I usually prepare the pan for the granola bars at this point too.
While the oats are cooling, combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla in a small saucepan. Let it come to a boil and boil it for about a minute. Then remove from the heat.
Transfer your dry mixture to a bowl, pour the sugar mixture over top, and mix well. Then fold in the strawberries.
Next, pour the entire mixture into the prepared pan. You’ll want to wet your hands for the next step. Then press the mixture firmly into the pan for a few minutes until everything sticks together. You may need to run them under the faucet a few times as you work. The harder you press, the better the bars will stick together.
Pop the pan into the fridge or freezer when you done, and let them chill for about 2 hours in the fridge or 30 minutes in the freezer. Cut them into 12 rectangles and enjoy!
The Recipe: Strawberry Vanilla Pecan Granola Bars
- 2 c. rolled oats (make sure you use gluten-free)
- ½ c. chopped pecans
- ¼ c. sunflower seeds
- ⅓ c. maple syrup
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
- ½ c. dried strawberries, coarsely chopped
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread oats, pecans, and sunflower seeds on a baking sheet and toast for 10-12 minutes until slightly golden and fragrant. Let cool slightly.
- As oat mixture cools, combine maple syrup, brown sugar, and butter in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking as butter melts. Boil for 1 minute, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, combine oat mixture and sugar mixture. Stir well. Then add strawberries and stir.
- Spray an 8x8 pan lightly with cooking spray. Then wet your hands and firmly press the granola mixture into the pan.
- Refrigerate pan for 2 hours. Then slice into 12 bars and remove from pan. Keeps well in freezer.