Fall is right around the corner, which means pecan season isn't far behind. As pecan season gets closer, things get crazier around my house. Between preparing for the pop-up shop, maintaining the website, shipping orders, making sure one child gets to school and does her homework, and the other child has plenty to entertain himself with while I work, it is a busy and crazy schedule. And one of the absolute last things I think about is what am I going to eat for breakfast, a thought that never fails to pop-up around 10 a.m., when I'm starving.
Truth be told, I have never been one to eat a huge breakfast as soon as I get out of bed. My mom and dad are a different story but for me, I need to be up and moving around awhile before I even think about breakfast. And with everything that has to be done before the kids and I head out for school and work, well, like I said, breakfast for me is the last thing I think about. So recently I started buying granola bars and sticking them in my bag, for when 10 a.m. hits, and my granola bar of choice is Nature Valley's Oats an' Honey. I have always loved Nature Valley's Oat n' Honey granola bars; they are simple, crunchy, slightly sweet, and just delicious. I could go on and on about their goodness. Thinking about how simple the ingredients are got me wondering if I could make granola bars that could even compare to my beloved favorites. And I found out that I could and it was shockingly simple. The recipe I finally settled on doesn't contain any processed sugar. Although this lack of processed sugar makes my bars slightly different in taste and crunchiness, one small change and you can't even tell the difference. These Base Camp Granola Bars are so simple to make and are a great "base" recipe that can be easily altered or aded to, to suit your tastes and cravings.
Base Camp Granola Bars
Time: 40 minutes Servings: 10 bars
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup pecan meal
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 cup pecan oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
Pre-heat oven to 350°
In a large mixing bowl, stir together oats and pecan meal, set aside
In a measuring cup, mix salt, pecan oil, honey, maple syrup, and vanilla
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix to thoroughly combine
In a parchment lined 8x8 pan, press your oat mixture firmly and evenly down into the pan
Bake for 20-30 until golden brown
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in pan
Remove from pan and cut into bars, store in an airtight container for up to a week
Tips & Tricks
Remember when I said, that these weren't an exact replica because they lack processed sugar? Switch the maple syrup for white sugar and viola, it will be next to impossible to tell the difference.
When you press the granola mixture into the pan, be sure to really press down to compress the bars as much as possible. Just be sure to spray your hands before you start pressing, otherwise you'll have granola bits everywhere.
You can add anything you like to these bars, chocolate chips, seeds, fruits, the possibilities are endless.