These granola bars are my absolute favorite. They’re actually the only homemade granola bar I remember ever trying, but let me assure you they are the best out there. Kara has been making them for awhile now and she’s always nice enough to save a few for me. Then I go ahead and scarf them all down in one sitting. The result is a trail of crumbs leading from the kitchen counter to me on the couch with my mouth full. I may have just eaten 4 granola bars in 2 minutes flat, but it was worth it.
If you’ve never tried a homemade granola bar, now is the time to do it. These make every mass produced granola bar you’d find at a grocery store a far inferior bar in comparison. Store-bought are either too sweet or they’re too healthy (tastes like cardboard). But these have just the right amount of sweetness, crunch and chewyness. Plus they allow you the freedom to decide exactly what goes inside, which is great for picky people like me.
I think these should be considered healthy in spite of the sugar, butter and corn syrup they contain. There are so many good ingredients in them too; we used oats, raw almonds and cashews, sunflower seeds and flax seeds, honey, dried and unsweetened fruit and all-natural peanut butter. I say the good outweighs the bad.
Here’s what you’ll need
Start by lining and spraying an 8×8 baking dish
Chop up your dried fruit; we used cranberries and apricots
Roughly chop your nuts too; we went with raw cashews and raw almonds.
You’ll want 2-3 cups total of fruit and nuts
Finely process 1/3 cup of oats to make oat flour
To the nuts and fruit we added flax seeds and sunflower seeds
Now, in a large bowl measure out your oats
And your oat flour
Depending on how sweet you want them, add a half cup or so of sugar
Add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt
In goes 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Mix in all the healthy stuff: fruits, nuts, seeds
Now for the sticky: here’s the butter and honey
Next is PB and vanilla, obviously this part was a 2 person job for us
Also you’ll need 2 tablespoons of corn syrup
And finally 1 tablespoon of water
Pour it all in
And mix it all up!
Spread it into your baking dish, it looks good already!
I love these as granola bars or crumbled onto yogurt too. They’re so good!
This recipe leaves you to your own devices. Make sure you use Quick Rolled Oats because they’re thinner than regular and they “glue” better. Also, keep in mind the ratio of chunky (nuts, dried fruit) to sticky (syrups, sugar, butter or oils), what those ingredients are is up to you. The vanilla is optional. The cinnamon is optional. You can use no dried fruit or you can use all dried fruit in your mix. You can toss in things like sunflower seeds or flax seeds, like we did. The possibilities are endless, and we’d like to hear what you’ve come up with.
- 1 2/3 cup quick rolled oats
- 1/2-3/4 cup granulated sugar (depending on how sweet you want them)
- 1/3 cup oat flour (1/3 cup oats, processed until finely ground)
- 1/3 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2-3 cup dried fruits and nuts
- 1/3 cup peanut butter (or another nut butter)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 tbsp melted butter (or oil)
- 1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup or corn syrup)
- 2 tbsp light corn syrup
- 1 tbsp water
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease the parchment paper and the exposed pan, or coat with a non-stick spray.
- Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter or oil, liquid sweeteners and water. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry (and peanut butter, if you’re using it) until the mixture is evenly crumbly. Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan.
- Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges — don’t be afraid to get a little color on the tops too. They’ll still seem soft and almost under baked when you press into the center of the pan but don’t worry, they’ll set completely once completely cool.
- Cool the bars in their pan completely on a cooling rack. Once cool use a serrated knife to cut the bars into squares. If bars seem crumbly, chill the pa in the fridge for 30 minutes which will fully set the “glue”, then cut them cold. To store, wrap the bars individually in plastic or stack them in an airtight container. In humid weather, it’s best to store bars in the refrigerator. They also freeze well.