Granola Bars are a staple in our home. They are perfect for packing in the girls’ lunch box, perfect for an after-workout or pre-workout snack, and perfect for me to throw in my bag for when I (or anyone else) is hangry. If you don’t know what hangry is… well, it’s when your hunger brings on some serious anger issues!
There are two types of granola bars: chewy and crunchy. I don’t mind crunchy. I just hate cleaning up the trail of crumbs that my kids leave behind. Crunchy is a big “no” in my house, especially in the car. Chewy is the way to go. If you’re on a healthy kick (which most of us are, in that it’s the new year), you almost get the sense that you’re cheating. I promise you’re not. Moderation is the key. Simplicity is also something to think about. In a previous blog I instructed how to read an ingredient label. Have you ever looked at the ingredient label on a packaged granola bar? There are many to compare… too many to compare. Once I went on this hunt to find the perfect store-bought granola bar. Here’s what I was looking for:
- Few ingredients
- No enriched or processed flours
- High in fiber
- No High Fructose Corn Syrup
I found out that I should just make them at home.
I’m not going to lie.. I didn’t invent this granola bar recipe. It is my favorite, though. And it’s totally worth sharing. It’s easy to make. You can simplify this recipe to very little added ingredients, or you can go all out. Sometimes, if I want to be really nice to my kids, I add chocolate chips. Other times I just want to be “that mom”, you know, “eat your broccoli kind of mom” and add ground flax seed and raisins. Oh the disappointment I hear when they have mistaken that raisin for a chocolate chip. (hehe)
Here’s the problem.. I can’t find the original recipe. You see I’ve been making this for so long that I memorized it.. or maybe I’ve changed it.. I’m really not sure. But I’m going to tell you how I make the basic recipe. You can add in whatever you want. You won’t be disappointed. Did I mention that you don’t have to bake these? You can toast the oats and nuts if you want. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter. If you’re a Raw Foodie you’ll appreciate this fact very much. The recipe calls for honey. You can also try maple syrup… or why not both?
Here we go!
*Toast 2 1/2 cups of Old-fashioned Rolled Oats and 1 cup chopped or sliced nuts (I use almonds).
*While these ingredients are toasting, melt 1/4 cup of butter with 1/3 cup of honey and 1/4 cup of brown sugar or date sugar.
*Add in a few drop of vanilla flavoring and a sprinkle of sea salt
*When you begin to smell the fragrance of the oats and nuts, remove from the oven.
*Scoop the nuts and oats into a large mixing bowl. Pour over the butter/sugar mixture. This is the time to add in whatever you like. (shredded coconut, chocolate chips, raisins, seeds, dried fruits)
*Line a deep dish baking dish with parchment paper. Flattened out the mixture into the baking dish and place in the refrigerator. Chill for about 2-3 hours, making sure the bars are really firm and set.
*Remove and slice into bars. You can store them all in one really large container or place them in individual snack bags. (that’s what I do) Perfect for grab-and-go! You can slice these anyway you like, long bars or square bars for smaller portion sizes. I usually can get about 12-16 bars out of this recipe depending upon how thick I want the bars to be.