"The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land."
-Abraham Lincoln

Granola Bars Episode 1

Tis the season for snacking, apparently.  My trio of munchkins have been craving snacks for the last several days and so I've taken to the kitchen to save the day with homemade granola bars.

Now if there was ever an easy and versatile food to make this one is it.   The recipe is simple and it takes no time at all to cook and cool.   The combinations you can create are almost endless and you can even experiment with texture.   We have our family favorites including cranberry chocolate chip, cinnamon honey peach, peanut butter chocolate chip, dark chocolate chip (we're a chocolate loving family),  strawberry banana, and plain ol' raisin granola bars.   We also tend to like our granola bars thick and chewy as opposed to thin and crispy.

This time around I went for the cranberry chocolate chip granola bars.   The tart cranberry and the dark chocolate go together really nicely.

The recipe I use is incredibly simple and uses really easy to find ingredients.

3 c. whole grain, old fashioned oats

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

2 Tblsp. unsalted butter, melted

1/3 c. flax meal (optional)

1 c. dried cranberries

1 c. dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°.   Mix the oats, condensed milk, butter, flax meal, cranberries and chocolate chips in a large bowl until everything is blended together well.  Press the mixture into a greased 9x13in. pan.  Then bake for 20 to 25 minutes depending on desired level of crunchiness.  Allow to cool before cutting and serving.  These will keep really well for about two weeks if stored in an airtight container.  Because of the condensed milk, you really wouldn't want to store them much longer than that without refrigerating or freezing.