January 20: National Granola Bar Day
Highlander always packs protein, cereal or granola bars in his carry-on luggage for long flights. These healthy snacks satisfy his hunger and gives him energy while he travels frequently for business. Islander sometimes bakes homemade granola bars for him with a hint of Hawaiian ingredients, fragrant coconut oil and dried tropical fruits. She reasons that the thick and chewy granola bars would have a subtle “vacation-instead-of-work” flavor while her hubby labors in locations far away (it is the thought that counts!). Try giving granola bars a tropical taste for National Granola Bar Day.
(Adapted from King Arthur Flour)
- 2 cups quick rolled oats
- ½ cup sugar (we used C&H brand, granulated white)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup rice cereal
- 1 ½ cups dried fruit (we used a mix containing tropical fruits, such as papayas and pineapples, etc.), chopped
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (we used Hawaiian Vanilla Company brand)
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil (see Notes)
- 1/3 cup honey (we used Big Island Bees brand macadamia nut blossom flavor)
- 1 tablespoon water
Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with waxed paper. Mist with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, sugar, salt, rice cereal and dried fruit. Toss well.
In a large bowl, mix the peanut butter, vanilla, coconut oil (or butter), honey and water until smooth. Add the oat mixture and blend well. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
Flatten with waxed paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool completely before slicing to avoid crumbling. Cut into bars with a sharp knife.
- Coconut oil may be substituted with melted butter.
- Add chopped macadamia or other nuts, toasted coconut, chocolate chips and other favorite flavors to the mix.
- Mahalo (thank you) to Mommy and Daddy for the Hawaiian honey and to Lisa L. for the Big Island vanilla.