In Vancouver, where there's a Starbucks on every corner, it's good to know the cheapest thing they sell - the Island Oat Bar, a simple but delicious and filling bar. In Calgary it's simply the "Oat Bar", and everywhere else I've been it doesn't exist.
So for those of us who don't live in the West (or those of us who want to save some money and make it ourselves!) I present to you a recipe! This is a very slightly modified version of this one. The best part is you can make it in under half an hour, and you don't have to turn the oven on (a big plus in the summertime). You may consider the ingredients somewhat pricey, but when I consider how much I regularly spend on granola bars, it really isn't that bad.
3 cups oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup liquid honey
1/4 cup water (optional - use for tender bar, use less or none at all for stiffer bar)
1/4 cup brown sugar (or golden)
1/2 tsp vanilla
Optional additions: chopped nuts, dried cranberries, raisins, dried fruit, shredded coconut, seeds, etc.
1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
4. Press into an 8 x 8 inch pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Compress the mixture evenly using the back of a flat metal spatula.
5. Using a kitchen knife, score the top of the oat mixture into bar shapes to make cutting easier.
6. After the bars have cooled to warm, cut the bars through while still in the pan.7. Allow to cool thoroughly and enjoy