Thursday, May 20, 2010

Homemade Granola Bars

I love granola bars, and I try to choose bars that are much more on the healthy side but that can be a problem, once you look into all the ingredients listed on that bright shiny package.

I set out to find a recipe and to make my own granola bars, thus eliminating high fructose corn syrup, fractionated palm kernel oil, added colors and flavors and all other weird unnecessary stuff. This recipe was just perfect! The bars came out a bit crunchy, a bit chewy and I put in them what I wanted. I found a bag of what was called "women's mix" trail mix. It had cranberries, blueberries, cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, soy nuts and much more. I added in this trial mix instead of purchasing separate bags of fruits and nuts. Next time I will stock up at the bulk food bin at the health food store, I just wasn't' sure how this was going to go. I also was out of wheat germ but had ground flax, so I used that. I also used 1/2 honey and 1/2 agave. I packaged them up in little snack size ziploc bags and put them where I keep (kept!) my other bars, I will be able to grab and go! Try a batch of your own.

Granola Bars

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.

Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown.

Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.


Miel Abeille said...

Yum! I might have to try making these myself!

Have a great weekend!

tahtimbo said...

I'll have to give this a try. It would be perfect for those days when I have to work out in the yard. This way, I can just grab a bar and munch on it while working. Thanks for the recipe :)

Missing Goat said...

we must all have granola on the brain - I just found another recipe on another site. Now, I have two to try!

Living It At Home said...

I know what you mean about buying them in a package. I am always amazed at the ingredients! Never made them before. Should be fun and hopefully better than getting it at a store!

Casco Bay Soap Co. said...

Thanks for all the comments!

I am still enjoying my granola bars after 4 days. I think that the individual plastic baggies that I have them in has kept them kind-of chewy. I love them and will be making more.