2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 c. flax seed, milled
1/4 c. quinoa
3/4 c. shelled sunflower seeds
1 c. chopped nuts (any kind or combination)
1 c. shredded coconut
1/2 to 1 tsp. cinnamon (desired amount)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. brown sugar or organic agave nectar
1/2 c. honey
2 tsp. molasses
4 T. butter
2 tsp. vanilla
4 T. peanut butter
1 c. dried, chopped fruit (optional)
1. mix first 8 ingredients together and place on a rimmed baking sheet. toast in a 400 degree oven for 9-12 minutes. watch it so it doesn’t burn! stir and let cool at least 15 minutes.
2. bring next 4 ingredients to a simmer, stirring continuously. stir in the vanilla and peanut butter and cool for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. put the toasted ingredients and dried fruit in a large bowl and pour the liquid ingredients over it. mix very well.
4. place parchment or wax paper in the rimmed baking sheet and butter the top side, then place the granola bar mixture in the pan. put another butter sheet of paper, buttered side down, on top of the mixture and press down. (i use silpats instead of parchment or wax paper and they work perfectly!)roll with a rolling pin to make it very tight, smooth, and even.
5. let set for 2-3 hours and cut into desired bar size. makes about 20-24 bars. package in snack size bags or an airtight container. if not using within next few days, store in freezer. they keep very well, and thaw quickly. (really yummy frozen, too!)