Homemade Cranberry-Pistachio Granola Bars in your Weston Dehydrator

OF COURSE you can make these homemade granola bars with any mixture of grains, fruit, and nuts you choose. It may also be a good idea to make a stop at Whole Foods for their healthy bulk goods, like wheat germ, to add a little extra nourishment. THIS recipe, however, is quite perfect if I do say so myself. No dairy, gluten-free (get gluten-free steel cut oats), and potentially all-natural if you forage the right ingredients. Oh yeah, and they taste INCREDIBLE.

Makes (12) ½ inch thick - 2 ½" x 2 ½" bars

- Ingredients -
3 cups old-fashioned oats
2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup pistachios
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup safflower oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
10 cardamom pods (or 1 teaspoon ground cardamom)

- Tools -
Weston Manual Food Grinder
Weston Dehydrator

Pour the oats into a large mixing bowl.

Place the cranberries, pistachios, pecans, and cardamom pods into your Food Grinder, coarse plate attached. Turn the handle to grind into the bowl of oats.

Pistachios, pecans, cranberries, and cardamom being ground into the oats with a Weston Manual Food Grinder.
You can leave your cranberries whole if you prefer, but grinding allows for better distribution of sweetness.  
Mix with a wooden spoon to distribute evenly. Pour in the honey, oil, vanilla, and cinnamon as you turn the oat mixture.

Once it is well mixed, place a piece of parchment paper over a dehydrator tray. Spread the mixture over the paper, ½ inch thick. Cover the granola bar mixture with a piece of plastic wrap, and use your palms to press the mixture together tightly, then smooth the surface. Remove the plastic wrap. At this point, you can cut the bars with a sharp knife, or you can wait until they're dehydrated. I cut them now to allow for better air circulation around the bars, though it's less messy if you wait.

I use a ruler to push the edges into perfectly straight lines - then I can also measure
and cut the bars into uniform squares (or whatever shape you prefer).
Place the tray into your Dehydrator and dehydrate at 155 for 8 hours, or until they're as chewy as you like them. These are right in between chewy and crunchy. After 8 hours, turn the dehydrator off and let the bars sit in the dehydrator for a couple of hours to rest and crisp up.

Finished Granola Bars in the Weston 6 Tray Dehydrator

Sooo, I may have taken a bite out of the bottom one.
It's not my fault - They smelled entirely too good not to sneak a piece.

Serve immediately or use a Weston Vacuum Sealer to seal them for later. If properly dried and sealed, they should last at least a couple of weeks this way.

Homemade granola bars individually sealed with a Weston Vacuum Sealer - now I can savor these things for weeks!

Sample Product Label
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