Copy Cat Nature Valley Granola Bars

I absolutely love Nature Valley granola bars.  They are crunchy goodness.  But it seems every time I try to make crunchy granola bars, they fall apart almost immediately upon cutting and I am left with granola.  If I had wanted granola I would have made granola!

Enter HalfBakedHarvest’s recipe.  I think the simple missing ingredient was using the bottom of a cup measure to REALLY press down hard on the mixture before putting it into the oven.  You can click on the link above for her recipe – I only changed two things based with what I had on hand – I used 1 cup of Cheerios and I subbed agave nectar for the honey.  Oh, and I forgot I added 2 tablespoons of flax seed and 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds.

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I actually used my hands to make sure every piece was covered in the peanut butter/agave nectar mixture.  The parchment paper is key too – makes it super easy to get it out of the pan to cool before cutting.

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So far it looks good!

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After cutting??  Hardly any crumbs!!

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Finally, a granola bar that stays together!!  I will note that mine were a tad salty – I shelled my own peanuts, so if your peanuts are really salty, you can leave out the salt in the recipe.  Still delicious – I need to make some more soon!

So we are flying by the seat of our pants this week food wise.  I knew we had enough stuff in the house that I didn’t need to grocery shop – should be an interesting week!

Breakfast was blueberry Chobani pancakes.   I was super busy at work all day so I just took a quick pick with my iPhone.

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I decided to do the StairMaster at lunch.  Tony and I signed up for Netflix because they were having a free month special.  I watched a movie, but it wasn’t very good, but it made the time go by fast!  I ended up doing 100 flights of stairs in 35 minutes, or 2.07 miles.

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So yesterday was all about the sausage!  I bought these last weekend. 

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The package had me at jalapeno!  I decided to make a smoked sausage panini – I used store bought bread, baby spinach, horseradish mustard and a small slice of cheese with the sausage.  My boss loved this!

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We split a 1 ounce bag of pretzels and had oranges, strawberries and grapes on the side. #winning!

So then I get home and Tony asked what was for dinner.  I start to mention “I have smoked sausage” and he said “put cheese on mine please.”

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So this time I made a smoked sausage dog with sauerkraut on the bottom, the sausage, topped with a bit of blue cheese and hot giardiniera.  I had a cooked baked potato in the fridge so those because some potato fries, with cucumbers and ranch dressing for dipping.

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I think I have yogurt for breakfast parfaits this morning, and I think I am going to throw all the ingredients into a bag to make smoked sausage sauerkraut soup for lunch.  I figure it can cook while I work! Open-mouthed smile

Question of the Day:  Sauerkraut fan or not?  I can eat it out of a can cold, but Tony thinks it tastes like ass.

Make it a great day!!