Success! These are a BIT sticky, but satisfyingly crun-chewy and don’t have that unfortunate “healthy” taste. Audrey, hilariously, absolutely refused to try them, then when no one was looking sneaked one and scarfed it down. Then, she did admit they were pretty darn good, and wouldn’t let me bring them to a PTA meeting.
2 cups oats
1/3 cup toasted flax seeds (or wheat germ)
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
2/3 cups slivered almonds or chopped pecans or walnuts
1 1/3 cups peanuts
1/3 cup chocolate chips
½ - 2/3 cups brown sugar
½ cup honey
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
8 oz. dried fruit
Crush peanuts by placing them in a plastic bag and smashing them with a mallet.
Spread oats and any raw nut ingredients on a rimmed baking sheet and toast at 400 degrees, stirring often, until golden brown. About 10 minutes, but watch carefully as once they start to brown, the oats can burn quickly.
Prepare a 9” x 13” glass baking dish by lining it with waxed paper and buttering the waxed paper. Butter an additional piece of waxed paper and set aside.
Mix toasted oats and other nuts and fruits in a large bowl. If you want melted chocolate, include the chocolate chips. Otherwise, add later.
Put the brown sugar, honey, butter, vanilla, and salt into a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. If your nuts are salted, just use a couple of pinches of salt. If not, use ½ teaspoon. We found the 2/3 cup brown sugar to be a bit too sweet.
Stir the liquid “glue” with the oats/nuts/fruit, distributing everything very well. Add chocolate chips if you haven’t already. Dump everything into prepared glass baking dish and spread out with a spatula. Cover the mixture with the buttered waxed paper and then press firmly all over to pack the ingredients together. I used a cutting board just a bit smaller than the dish to help press evenly, then placed several heavy cookbooks on top when I was done.
Let sit for 2 – 3 hours until completely cooled. Then remove top waxed paper sheet and carefully turn the granola onto a cutting board. Cut into bars by pressing a large knife or pizza cutter straight down (not sawing). Store in an airtight container between sheets of waxed paper.