B.C. blueberry granola bars

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Granola bars can be a godsend for busy people. But you can do better than the sugary and greasy prepackaged variety. If you have a bit of time over the weekend, it's worth spending it on making your own granola bars, with oats, fresh and dried B.C. blueberries, seeds, nuts and nut butters. Follow this recipe to see just how easy it is.

1 ½ cup rolled oats, gluten-free if necessary
1 ½ cups unsweetened puffed brown rice cereal
1 cup B.C. blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup dried B.C. blueberries
3 tbsp flax seeds, ground
2 tbsp chia seeds
3/4 cup brown rice syrup
3/4 cup unsweetened nut butter or nut-free butter
1 tbsp orange zest
3 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tbsp coconut oil or butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Pre-heat oven to 325°F. Grease a 9 x 9" baking dish and line with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix the oats, puffed rice, fresh blueberries, almonds, sunflower seeds, dried blueberries, flax and chia seeds.

In a non-stick pan over medium heat, whisk together rice syrup, nut butter, orange zest, orange juice, coconut oil, cinnamon and salt until well combined and heated through.

Pour the warmed nut butter mixture into the granola and combine to coat all the ingredients. Transfer to the baking dish and press down firmly with the back of a spatula.

Bake in the middle rack of the pre-heated oven for 55 to 60 minutes.

Allow to rest at room temperature until cooled.

Remove block of granola from pan, peel away parchment paper and cut into bars.