coconut almond apricot granola bars

Since getting Maddie and taking her for her daily walk/stop-and-go-as-Maddie-pleases, I’ve gotten to know some of our neighbors pretty well.  Most are other dog owners, who let Maddie socialize with their older and much calmer dogs and give me advice on raising a puppy.  However, my favorite new neighbor friends are the ones that wait for me and Maddie at the park up the street after getting dropped off by the school bus or have their mom drop them off when they see Maddie and I on a walk.  Yep, we’re getting pretty popular with the 5th graders.  

I have to admit, it’s kind of fun to talk to them about their day at school or how much homework they have.  I guess it’s a welcomed break from talking to my older patients all day about their back pain and bowel movements and truly, the kids are helpful in getting Maddie to burn off some energy.  

I made these granola bars knowing they would be great for a quick breakfast or an easy snack during the busy work week.  I found this recipe from Joy the Baker’s cookbook in which every.single.thing. looks amazing.  I swapped the raisins for apricots and instead of using orange juice I added almond extract to bring out the almond flavor.  While I expected to be the only one nibbling on these all week, Marc was happy to bring them for snacking at work.  Healthy and delicious – definitely a winning combination!

Almond Apricot and Coconut Granola Bars
adapted from Joy the Baker’s cookbook


1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup oat flour (place oats in food processor and pulse until coarse)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp ground flaxseed meal
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
1 cup shredded coconut (I used sweetened)
3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp almond extract


Directions:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 8″ square baking dish with foil, letting some hang over the edge, and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.


In large bowl, combine oats, oat flour, brown sugar, flaxseed, salt, cinnamon, ginger, coconut, apricots, and almonds.  Stir well.


In separate small bowl, whisk together honey, butter, and almond extract.  Pour over flour mixture and stir with spatula.  Keep mixing until all dry ingredients are moistened.  


Pour into prepared baking dish and with clean and sightly oiled fingers, press into the dish until tight and firmly packed.  Bake 35 minutes in preheated oven.  It will still be soft after its baked but will harden as it cools. 


Cool for 30 minutes straight from oven, then place in refrigerator for about an hour before slicing.  This helps keep them from crumbling.  


Wrap individually or store in airtight container.  Enjoy!  

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