Granola Bars

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.