Chewy Granola Bars

Obviously: happy halloween! Tonight, we made granola bars -- perfect for tomorrow when we anticipate vomiting at the sight of candy (Alex's mom sent up a HUGE bag, and too many pieces are gone already).

As granola bars nuts (haha), the realization that we could make them ourselves was very exciting. See, we have a habit of becoming obsessed with a variety of bar for about two months, then tiring of it and switching to another. But now, we'll be able to switch ingredients in and out depending on season and mood, and never again have to assume the stressful task of picking a new brand! Except, I literally have three boxes of TLC Honey Almond Flax bars waiting for me in my pantry, and I love them too much to abandon completely.

In any case, this recipe is remarkably easy; It onlytook about five minutes of active cooking time. And though ours didn't look super pretty, they tasted great -- almost like oatmeal cookie bars. We used smart balance but you can use butter, and I imagine that adding coconut would be great as well. Also, feel free to add or substitute your favorite nuts, dried fruits, etc.

4 1/2 cups oats
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup smart balance
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups raisins
1 1/2 sunflower seeds

Preheat the oven to 325. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together (we used a mixer, though you could probably do it with a fork and a lot of effort). Lightly press the mixture into a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Bake them for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Let them cool for 10 minutes before cutting them into bars, and let them cool completely before removing them.