(based on a recipe from Kim Boyce's 'Good to the Grain')
Makes 32 bars
4 cups rolled oats
1 stick butter, unsalted
1 cup plus 2 T. flaxseed meal
1 cup dried tart cherries
1 cup honey
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 t. kosher salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Generously butter a 9 x 13 inch pan, and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the oats, and toast slowly until the oats are golden. The oats should be 2 shades darker than an untoasted oat (save a few for comparison).
When the oats are toasted, remove them from the stove and place in a large bowl. Add 1 cup of the flaxseed meal to the bowl.
Toss the cherries with the remaining 2 T. of the flaxseed meal, and chop finely. The flaxseed meal will help keep the cherries from sticking. Add to the bowl with the oats and the flaxseed meal. Mix well.
Wipe out the pot, and add the honey, brown sugar, and the salt. Turn the heat to medium, stir well, and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes.
Carefully pour the syrup over the oat mixture, and stir, stir, stir until every bit is coated evenly.
Pour the mixture into the 9 x 13 pan, and with buttered hands press the mixture evenly.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. The bars are done when the edges are slightly browner around the edges, and the surface is shiny.
Place the pan on a cooling rack, and let cool for 30 minutes. Then remove from the pan, and cut into 32 bars. Place the bars on the rack, and let cool completely.
Store the bars in an airtight container.
Use your favorite dried fruit - cranberries, apricots, pineapple, mango - just chop finely before stirring into the oats.
Add nuts or seeds - up to 1 cup. Unsweetened coconut would also be delicious.
You can also use coconut oil or another type of oil (grapeseed, olive, etc.) instead of the butter.