Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cranberry Cherry Paleo Granola Bars

If you have a paleo lunchbox to pack, these granola bars would make for a perfect after-lunch treat! But they are definitely not just for kids - grownups have lunchboxes, too, right? I packed my lunch almost every day when I was 9-to-5ing it. Speaking of lunchboxes, I had a metal Care Bears lunchbox in elementary school. I moved on to a pink plastic lunchbox that came with a whole sheet of decorative stickers in middle school. It looked kind of like a briefcase, too. I was pretty sophisticated like that.

Back up...this post is not supposed to be about lunchboxes, it is supposed to be about granola bars. These delicious fruit and nut granola bars, to be exact. I used dried cherries and cranberries and mixed them together with a  variety of nuts and seeds to give them a perfect granola bar texture. There is only one teensy tablespoon of added sweetener, but that is all these bars need. They are slightly sweet and chewy, but with a little crunch. The trick to getting these right is to really pack them down tightly in the pan before baking.

The best part is that this recipe could be made so many different ways. You could do chocolate chips and raisins, ginger and dried apples, or dried pineapple and coconut for a tropical flair! Hmm...I better get back in the kitchen!

Since I obviously have lunchbox nostalgia on the brain, tell me...which awesome lunchbox did you have growing up?


Cranberry Cherry Paleo Granola Bars
Time: 35 Minutes
Makes: 12

Ingredients
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp honey
½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
½ cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup chopped walnuts
⅓ cup dried cranberries (no sugar added), chopped
⅓ cup dried cherries (no sugar added), chopped
Dash of salt
½ tsp cinnamon


Directions
Preheat oven to 350F.

Stir together eggs, vanilla and honey in a small bowl until well combined.

Stir together shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, cranberries, cherries, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.  

Pour egg mixture into bowl with dry ingredients. Stir well to combine. Pour into a parchment paper lined 9’’x9’’ pan and press down evenly so it is tightly packed.

Bake for 18-20 minutes.  Let cool completely then cut into 12 bars.

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