Nothing boring about going granola

One of the best parts about being on break from teaching in the summer is that I have time to eat breakfast at home every morning.

I normally don?t get fancy with my morning meal?I tend to alternate between raisin bran and sugary kid cereal?but I love having time to just sit and eat.

During the school year, I normally hop in the car with a bagel or granola bar and eat on the way to work.

With the school year looming around the corner?a statement that thrills parents and chills students and teachers?I decided to try making my own granola bars, and I was very happy with the results.

The recipe I tried comes from the blog ?Happy Healthy Mama.? You can find the original at http://happyhealthymama.com/2014/01/4-ingredient-peanut-butter-granola-bars-with-chocolate-vegan-gluten-free.html. I changed things up from the original just a bit.

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Homemade Granola Bars

Ingredients

2 cups quick oats

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup trail mix, chopped nuts or dried fruit

1/2 cup honey

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix until it is well-combined.

Evenly press the mixture into a 9-by-13-inch pan.

Place a sheet of waxed paper on top and use something heavy to really press the granola bars firmly so they?re nice and dense. (I used a large spatula; the blog author used a large can of tomatoes for hers.)

Remove the waxed paper and bake for 12 minutes.

Firmly press on the bars again to compact them even further when you take them out of the oven.

Place them in the fridge for about half an hour or until the bars are cooled completely.

Turn the bars out onto a cutting board and cut into your desired size. You should be able to get 16 to 18 nice-sized bars out of it.

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My favorite thing about these granola bars?besides knowing exactly what?s in them?is that they?re almost infinitely customizable. I used a trail mix that had nuts, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds in it for mine, but you could just as easily toss in chocolate chips or raisins or anything else that tastes good with peanut butter.

Joey ate one of these for breakfast and said they held him over until lunch really well.

For the next couple of weeks, I think I?ll just stick to my cereal, but it?s nice to know I have a plan when the school year begins. Now I?ll just have to get used to getting up bright and early again?but I think that can wait at least a little while longer

When not helping husband Joey with newspaper work, Lindsey teaches speech, debate and forensics at Haven High School. She can be reached at lindseyclarion@gmail.com.