Recipes and Tips for Healthier Living and Smarter Budgeting

Monday, December 6, 2010

Homemade Granola Bars

I've been having to eat several small meals every day for the last few months, instead of my usual three regular ones. But sometimes, due to my schedule or other factors, I just need a good, quick, portable snack. So a week ago or so I started looking at the selection of granola bars in the stores. I almost bought a box a couple times, but I just couldn't bare to do it, not with all the high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, brown sugar, sugar, etc listed in the ingredients. After all, I didn't want dessert, I wanted a healthful snack. So I determined to figure out how to make my own. After all, I knew I already had the ingredients on hand and it couldn't really be that hard. I found quite a few recipes online and weeded them down to one I found on Then, of course, I modified it to include no sugar. We all loved the result and I felt good knowing I didn't give in to the easy, unhealthful option. :)
Plus, when you make them yourself, you can switch up the fruits, nuts, etc, so they are just the way you want them. I doubled the recipe and made two varieties: one with dried dates, papayas, and cranberries; and the other with sunflower seeds and raisins (though I didn't use nearly 1 1/2 c. of raisins).

Homemade Granola Bars

2 c. rolled oats
1 c. sliced almonds
1 c. shredded coconut, loosely packed (this can be found unsweetened to further reduce the refined sugar content)
1/2 c. wheat germ
3 Tb. butter
About 1 c. honey (I may cut it down a bit next time because it seemed a little too sweet to me, but the rest of my family didn't notice.)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. dried fruit(s) of your choice (of course, varieties with less or no sugar are the most healthful)

Preheat oven to 35o degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish and line it with parchment paper. (I didn't have parchment paper and therefore can't vouch for its necessity, but I unfortunately did find out how necessary greasing the pan is! I know, I should've known better, but sometimes I space things...)

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

Reduce temperature to 300 degrees.

Place butter, honey, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over toasted oatmeal mixture. Add dried fruit and stir well.

Pour mixture into prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press mixture evenly into pan. Bake for 25-30 min, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2-3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

I wasn't sure how long these would stay good outside of the fridge, so after a couple days I wrapped the individual bars in tinfoil and put them in the fridge.


Brandi M said...

yum! I want to make these soon!

Carolyn said...

These look so tasty! Thanks for sharing!

jcgk said...

I made these yesterday. My kids love granola bars...but well, you know what's in them. I said I was going to use fruit leather since my kids don't like dried fruit. BUT, I decided to sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top instead to coax my kids into trying somethig different. They were not fans. But Adam and I love them!! Neither of my kids likes honey and I think you can really taste the honey...I did cut the honey to 3/4 cup since you said they were sweet---and I was adding chocolate chips. Next time (sooon!) I'm going leave out the almonds (which I crushed to make them lest detectable) and coconut and cut the honey to 1/2 cup, add some creamy PB to the syrup mixture. Maybe then they'll eat them. :) While I was on a granola kick I made some granola cereal using the Beverly Nye recipe that Mom used when we were kids. Mmmmmmmm.

Katrina said...

That's too bad your kids still didn't like them. (And that they don't like the taste of honey! I don't know what we would do if that were the case in our family!) But I'm glad you and Adam did. What's in that granola recipe you love? Does it have a lot of sugar? I've made granola with two or three different recipes and still haven't found one I'm devoted to...

jcgk said...

4 cups rolled oats on ungreased cake sheet pan. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Stir in: 1 cup flaked coconut, 1 cup peanuts (coarsely chopped...or other nut), 3/4 cup wheat germ.

Then add: 1/2 cup honey, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp vanilla. Mix well. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in 8 oz of dried fruit (optional)

I'm making another batch now. I added some cinnamon and nutmeg...just for something different.

Katrina said...

Hey, thanks! I'll probably use that recipe this week; we're in need of more granola.


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