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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Coconut Almond Apricot Chocolate Chip Granola Bars ...and a Giveaway!

When Jen from Kelapo Coconut contacted me and asked if I wanted to sample and review their coconut oil, I immediately started thinking about what I'd make with the product. I'd used coconut oil in the past to make banana coconut muffins, so I knew I wanted to try something different this time. Kelapo actually has a blog with a bunch of recipes, and I thought about trying one of theirs...until my mind wandered to granola, and then granola bars.

I love making granola bars from scratch because they are so easily customizable. You can get creative with your flavoring and mix-ins: pumpkin, s'mores, cranberry orange butter ...and this time coconut! Texture-wise, these were undoubtedly the best granola bars I've ever made. I don't know if the coconut oil contributed to that, but it's safe to say I'll be using coconut oil in my granola bars from now on to be safe!

The granola bars were a little crumbly fresh out of the oven, but the friends I shared them with didn't complain. However, after letting the rest of the batch sit in the fridge overnight, they were absolutely perfect the next day--soft and chewy, but still firm enough to hold their "bar" shape. I don't have a single complaint about these, except maybe for the fact that they don't come individually wrapped...meaning it's WAY too easy to chow down on several in a row :)

Want to make these bars and give Kelapo Coconut Oil a shot? You're in luck...they've kindly offered to give one reader their own jar of Kelapo Coconut Oil! To enter the giveaway, do one of the following:

1. Leave a comment telling me what kind of granola bars you'd make with some coconut oil.
2. Like my Facebook page (if you already do, leave a comment saying you already do for an entry!)

You have until Thursday, June 9th at 9:00 PM Central to enter...I'll announce the winner on Friday!

And finally, one last thing before we get to the recipe...

It's my dad's birthday. Same as last June 5th. Except, lucky for me, this year I get to be with him on his birthday! Those who know my dad know what a special person he is, and I couldn't be more blessed to be his daughter!! Happy Birthday Dad, I love you!

Coconut Almond Apricot Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
inspired by What Megan's Making

-2 cups old-fashioned oats
-1 cup whole wheat flour
-1/2 cup chocolate chips
-1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
-1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped/cut into pieces
-1/2 cup slivered almonds
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-1/2 cup wheat germ
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 whole egg, beaten
-1/2 cup agave nectar (could substitute honey)
-1/2 cup coconut oil
-2 tsp vanilla extract (next time I'll try almond extract!)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 13 pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, mix oats, flour, wheat germ, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips, dried apricots, coconut, and almonds.
3. Stir in wet ingredients (egg, agave, coconut oil, and extract). Mix well to combine before pressing mixture into prepared pan.
4. Bake for 15 minutes and remove from oven. Allow bars to cool before slicing.