Cooking with color:

Coconut yumminess granola bars.

A few months back, Mattio tired of eating artificial flavor (a real ingredient) in his granola bars, and found a recipe so he could make his own. It called for things like dried fruit, and peanuts--both of which I like in a granola bar... but do you know what I like better? Coconut! It also happens that if there is one fruit (nut?) on the planet Mattio doesn't like... you guessed it. It's my coconut against his bacon (although, to be fair, he is not putting bacon in his granola bars. I know, shocker, right?).

So a few weeks ago, I hijacked the recipe and made my own coconut yumminess granola bars. And they were indeed, YUM.

You'll need:
2 cups of oats
1/4 cup ground flax (I use this in place of wheat germ--you can get it at Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup almonds (sliced or crushed. If you crush them, crush them good--those whole almonds are a bitch to cut through)
1/4 cup brown sugar (I used 2 tablespoons in my last batch, and it needed a little more sweetness, so I would say somewhere in between 1/4 and an 1/8 cup)
1/2 cup of honey
4 tablespoons of butter (again, I modified in my last batch--I think you'll need at least 2 tablespoons... and if you go light on the butter, go more on the honey)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 oz. coconut (BEWARE! A lot of coconut comes with added sugar. I get mine from either Whole Foods, or Mrs. Green's market--it's just coconut with no added sugar)
A few handfuls of dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spread crushed almonds, oats, ground flax, sunflower seeds on a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes, stirring every few.

Line a glass baking dish (we use Pyrex) with wax paper, and spray with non-stick oil (lightly).

Put brown sugar, honey, butter, vanilla in saucepan and simmer, stirring constantly.

Mix liquid and nut/oat mixture in a bowl extremely well.

Sprinkle half of the dark chocolate chips on the bottom of the baking dish.

Put mix into lined baking dish and spread. Add the remaining chocolate chips. (Don't mix the chocolate chips into the mixture--it's hot and they'll melt)

Put another piece of wax paper over the mixture and press hard. Wait 2-3 hours to cool, then cut into bars and enjoy!

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