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.