1/2 cup almond butter (I made my own- go here for the recipe)
2 mashed bananas
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup oats (old-fashioned or quick cooking are both fine, just not instant)
I used (about) 1/4 each of the following:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine your almond butter, mashed bananas, and honey. As it heats up, use a whisk to smooth it out. Make sure it's thoroughly combined (just a few minutes). Remove from the heat.
In a food processor (this worked the best for me), add your dry mix-ins and pulse/chop until you have small, chunky pieces of everything. Add the oats and your mix-ins to the saucepan. Fold everything together with a spatula so it's well-combined but not over mixed.
Pour into a greased loaf pan, press down a little with your spatula to pack the batter down, and bake for 25 minutes. The edges of your loaf should be slightly brown, so if it looks like it needs a few more minutes, adjust your time as necessary. Loosen the edges and turn out onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before cutting them. Store in an air-tight container. Makes around 12 bars.
I am actually really amazed at how well these turned out. They are not crunchy in the typical granola bar way, but they aren't quite as soft as a cereal bar either. They are a great consistency, and they taste so good. As they were baking, the whole kitchen started to smell amazing. The best way I can describe the taste is fresh. Even though it's dried fruit, there isn't anything dry about them. I actually couldn't wait to try them so I cut one pretty soon after taking them out of the oven. Seriously, don't. Wait until the are cool or else it's going to bust up into little pieces. (Or, if you want it that way, then go right ahead!) I actually used a pan that is 4 smaller loaves (I only used 3 of them) so I adjusted my cooking time to 20 minutes.
What I like about the recipe is that:
1. I know exactly what's in it. I know the sweetener is honey along with the fruit, I know what grain is in it, I know it's healthy.
2. I can change them up to suit the flavor I want. I want to try it with peanut butter (the more crunchy natural stuff, not Skippy or Jif), but I don't see why you couldn't try cashew butter or any other kind of nut butter. Pistachio butter was suggested to me, and it sounds great. You can make your own following that recipe above using roasted nuts.
Dried fruit- raisins, Craisins, blueberries, cherries, apricots, dates, plums, etc. Just watch the sugar content of some of those.
Nuts- almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts, and so on
Seeds- pumpkin, sunflower, flax
Other- dark chocolate chips/chunks, coconut
The list is really endless. They really are easy, they really are tasty (Gus approved).
If you decide to make them, let me know how they came out and what you added. I'd love even more suggestions!