Well folks, I think I've got it!
Remember waaaay back when to my very first post when I showed you how to make Homemade Granola?
And then again when I tried to make a healthier version and it was not nearly as good and I told you I was still working on it?
Well, I tried again this morning. I was going to make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars which still sound delicious, but I was worried that like the applesauce I used last time, the pumpkin would make them more chewy....and I was in the mood for some crunch!! So I went back to the original Alton Brown recipe that I normally use and tried some different modifications- and I'm loving the result!!
I toasted 2 c Quaker Oats, 1/2 c sunflower seeds, 1 c sliced almonds, 1/2 c wheat germ and 2 Tbsp ground flax seed at 350 for 10 minutes. It was almost a disaster as I was using a different brand of sliced almonds than usual and they toasted a bit faster than everything else. So I lost about 1/4-1/3 cup of the mix that was on the edges because it got too brown. But the rest was fine! While all that was toasting, I put 1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1/4 c honey, 1 Tbsp butter and 3 Tbsp peanut butter in a small saucepan and let it melt and combine. I scooped the oat mixture into a bowl, poured the pb mixture over it and stirred to combine. Then I added dried cranberries, raisins and a few chocolate chips. I pressed it into a pan and put it back in the oven at 300 degrees for 20 minutes.
Let it cool, then "cut" into rows. I use the term cut loosely because although it was crunchy, it was still pretty crumbly so only about 1/2 of it stayed in bar/square form and the rest is more crumbly like granola. I'm fine with either!
The result? A little chewy, a little crunchy and A LOT delicious!! These have less than 1/2 the amount of brown sugar and 1/2 the amount of honey as the original recipe, plus flax seed for extra benefits and the peanut butter adds some protein!