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Whole Wheat Apricot Jam Granola Bars

We have had this conversation to some extent before, but I feel like I have never really confessed just how deeply my love for all things oat related in quite so much detail. So hey – I mean as long as we’re being really honest here – I guess I should tell you that I actually have no problem eating raw oats on their own. Yup, that’s right – believe it or not, I actually find raw oats to be incredibly delicious and sometimes I eat them with a spoon straight from my oatmeal jar . Ahh… that felt so good to get that off my chest 😀

Are you thinking to yourself … “this girl has gone bananas” yet? Well, then I guess this will make you think that I am double crazy time, but I gladly sit down to an extra large bowl of warm oatmeal Every. Single. Morning. Mhmmm , I never miss an oat-meal…. {bad pun definitely intended} 😀

Cole on the other hand is a little less than enthused to sit down to a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. In fact that is probably the last thing that he wants to see on the breakfast table when he is in a hungry-bear man mood in the morning. It’s not that he wouldn’t eat the whole bowl if it was his only option for food… but, let’s just say it takes a little more pizzazz when it comes to getting him excited about consuming his required daily amounts of whole grain, oaty goodness. But it’s okay because I’m always up for the challenge…

Now, usually adding a decent amount of brown sugar, a dash of cinnamon and some cream will placate him enough to polish off a bowl of homemade oatmeal. However, what makes him really swoon for oats, is when they are baked into a buttery, crumbly, frenzie of granola-y goodness…

Now although I am a gal who loves her plain old fashioned oats, even I have to agree with my partner in crime and admit that oats baked into granola form are just down right irresistible – especially when you add some of your favourite jam to the mix.

These Whole Wheat Apricot Jam Granola Bars are basically my epitome of granola bar perfection. Not only are they whole grain {and all-in-all pretty healthy for you}, but they are also just plain addicting… like I feel like they could easily qualify as a bakers occupational hazard…

The buttery granola crust is full of flavourful goodness, what with all those toasted pecans, brown sugar, warm spices and of course, my very best friend … butter. So basically the crust alone, is enough to leave you smitten – but when you squish sweet apricot jam in between layers of that granola bar goodness… it is quite literally game over.

​You can whip these granola bars up in a jiffy and if you are not an apricot jam fan, simply swap it out for your families favourite – the granola crust pairs perfectly with pretty much any kind of jam our little heart desires {particularily apple jam …hint hint…. } 

Honestly, no matter what kind of jam you use, I can assure you that when you take a bite you will come down with a serious case of the nom, noms … hehe. So here is the recipe lovelies and I hope you enjoy!

Things you need…

1 x 9×9 inch square baking pan
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup quick oats
3/4 cup large flake rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
pinch of salt
3/4 cup toasted pecans
9 oz apricot jam {whatever your fav brand is}

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9×9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, quick oats, rolled oats, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until completely combined. Add in dry ingredients in two additions, beating slowly until just combined and crumbly. Use a spatula to mix in the toasted pecans by hand.

4. Press half of the granola crumble mixture in to the prepared baking pan, being careful to press into the corners. Spread apricot jam over top evenly. Crumble remaining granola mixture over top of the jam.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until edges are golden. Allow to cool completely before cutting into equal squares.

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