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I’ve been super busy lately preparing for the holidays, making gifts, packing up boxes to send home for Christmas, writing Christmas cards and trying to come up with some additional last minute gifts that are thoughtful but quick and easy to put together. I’ve found that the gift of food whether it’s homemade jellies and jams, a sweet bread like Stollen or your favorite Christmas cookies if prepared and presented well always make a welcoming gift for a neighbor, friend or a family member. A healthy but tasty treat this holiday season, and perfect for gifting since it doesn’t need to be kept cold, is a customizable batch of home-made granola bars. If you are so inclined you can also make home-made granola cereal from this recipe too and alongside a pretty glass or ceramic bowl this makes the perfect last minute gift for someone who’s hard to shop for. The options for what you can add to these bars are endless and the effort to make them minimal, so don’t fret about what to get that person still not crossed off your shopping list, head to your pantry or your local grocery store instead and whip up a batch of these delicious granola bars in no time!

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Granola Bars

*Most of these ingredients can be changed to suit your preference, add different nuts, seeds and dried fruits or just chocolate if you like!

200 gram bar of Chocolate (chopped) or Chocolate Chips
3 cups of whole Oats
2 cups of Coconut Flakes (unsweetened)
1 cup of Wheat Bran
3/4 cup chopped Almonds
3/4 cup Sunflower Seeds
1/4 cup Flax Seeds
1/3 cup All Natural Peanut Butter (just peanuts and possibly salt)
1/2-3/4 cup Honey or other liquid sweetener of choice
3 Tbs Coconut Oil (this is solid at room temperature)
2 Tbs Vanilla Extract or 1 packet of Dr. Oetker’s Bourbon Vanilla
3/4 tsp Salt

Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). In a large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients and mix together well. In another medium sized microwavable bowl or over a double boiler add the peanut butter, honey, coconut oil and vanilla extract and heat until melted. Stir well to combine and add to the dry ingredients. Mix everything together until all the dry ingredients are well coated. Line a deep cookie sheet or baking tray with baking paper and spread the mixture evenly over the tray. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before cutting bars. Or alternately you can break the granola up into small pieces to make a muesli. Store in an airtight container or wrapped in foil at room temperature for up to two weeks or longer in the fridge.

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