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Healthy Granola Bars with Cranberries and Pecans

These granola bars are naturally sweetened with bananas, applesauce, and cranberries. There is no processed sugar or artificial sweeteners. (However, we recommend adding a touch of maple syrup or honey for your sweet tooth.) Nuts, seeds and whole grains support digestive and heart health. Pecans are rich in antioxidants, so these real food granola bars are truly nutritious!

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

3/4 cup Pearson Pecan Pieces

3 large, ripe bananas

2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup dried cranberries

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

2 tbsp ground flaxseed (or flax meal)

1/2 tsp salt 

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a 9x13 baking sheet, lay a silicone baking mat or layer of parchment paper. Mix oats and pecans. Toast oats and pecans in a large skillet or in the oven on a baking sheet. They should be lightly toasted after a few minutes. Set aside. Place bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mash the bananas with a fork until mushy. Add applesauce and mix together. Once the oats and pecans are toasted, pour into a large mixing bowl. Mix in cranberries, flax seed, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add banana and applesauce mixture. Stir until clumpy and transfer to baking sheet. Make sure that the mixture is even (see picture). Bake for 30 minutes and then cool. Cut into bars. (It should make about 15 granola bars.) Store in the fridge or freezer for a healthy snack!

Photo and recipe courtesy of Nicole

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