1 1/3 cup quick cook rolled oats
pinch salt, one of cinnamon, one of nutmeg and one of ginger
1/4 cup flax seeds
1 cup dried fruit and/or nuts
1/4 cup of canola oil
1/4 cup good quality maple syrup
2 T. brown rice syrup
Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8" square pan with parchment, hanging over the sides.
Grind 1/3 cup of the oats in the food processor until they're powdery. Add to large bowl with remaining oats and all other dry ingredients. Toss.
In a separate bowl, whisk wet ingredients together.
Add wet to dry.
Put mixture into pan and smooth top. Bake 1/2 hour until evenly browned. Let cool 15 minutes on a cooling rack (the parchment makes a good sling to get it onto the rack). Cut into bars.
Now for the variations. I've found that just about any dry, crunchy type of grain or cereal will work for the "1/4 cup flax seeds". I've used wheat germ, crunched up cereal (it's the perfect thing to do with the leftover handful in the bottom of the box), and several other ingredients that sounded and looked as if they might taste good in a granola bar. No misses yet. I don't think you can screw it up.
Secondly, you can change up the spices you use however you want. When I'm using apples I use a little more than a pinch of cinnamon and ginger and no nutmeg. When I use dried mango or papaya I use a pinch of cardamom. Peaches and cloves are good together, and then sometimes I just don't use anything but the salt so I can taste the natural sweetener and other ingredients I've used.
Third, 1/4 cup of oil is WAAAAAAAAAY too much. I use about half that. Replacing the oil with peanut butter or any kind of nut butter is really delish too.
Fourth, I don't care for maple syrup too much so I replaced it. Depending on what ingredients I"m using I've replaced it with agave nectar, honey, or a mixture of those two plus others like sorghum or molasses. (A teensy bit of that goes a long way though.)
In order to get my kids to eat this the first time, I added m&ms- about 1/2 cup to the whole recipe. I guess that provided just enough chocolate/candy lust to get them to try it. Now they love them no matter what ingredients I sneak in.