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Granola Bars

January 31, 2010

Granola bars wrapped up -- not so beautiful in the plastic wrap, but they're tasty!

Lately, I’ve been noting what we buy, and thinking twice about whether we can make it on our own, instead of buying it.  I am sure that this is something that will be scrutinized, because I am neither Martha Stewart nor a pioneer, but at the end of the day, it feels gratifying to actually do something well and on my own.  (I also feel that way about growing things — especially garlic, onions and broccoli, because it seems like we buy them EVERY week … but that’s another story, probably for the Spring.)  Anyway…one of the things we buy (a lot of…) every week are granola bars.  Marc likes the Kashi bars, but I find them a bit too dry.  I like the Chewy 90 calorie granola bars, but they flavors are pretty basic and mostly only involve chocolate.  I decided to make these, and I hope to do so weekly, to defray the cost of buying granola bars each week.

I was a little tentative about making these, mostly because I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m glad that I did — they were easy and I am definitely going to make them again.  I will probably try it with different mix-ins, like coconut, banana chips, dried apricots, etc.  The sky is the limit with homemade granola bars!

Granola Bars

recipe adapted from Joyful Abode

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. rolled oats
  • 3/4 c. wheat germ (Did you know wheat germ keeps best in the refrigerator?  I did not know this.)
  • 3/4 c. sunflower seeds
  • 1 c. peanuts
  • 2/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 4 tbsp. butter (I am going to cut this down next time I make this, just to make it healthier)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract (I used more)
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • Approximately 8 oz. of dried fruit, in this case raisins and craisins

1.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Crush peanuts by placing them in a plastic bag and smashing with a mallet, sauce pan or can.

3.  Mix the peanuts, oats, wheat germ and sunflower seeds in a baking dish with sides.  Toast them in the oven for 10-12 minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes, so that nothing burns.

4.  Meanwhile, prepare a 9×13 casserole dish, lining it with wax paper that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.

5.  When the dry ingredients are done, combine butter, brown sugar, honey, vanilla, and kosher salt in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.  I was terrified of over-cooking this, so the minute it started to simmer, I took it right off the heat.

6.  Pour liquid mixture over the oat mixture and dried fruit.  Mix with a spoon in a large bowl.   Make sure you mix everything very well — you want to make sure everything is combined through.  When fully combined, pour into your prepared 9×13 dish.

Granola dump

7.  Spread out the mixture evenly with a wooden spoon.  Tear off a new sheet of wax paper and place it on the top of the granola, pressing down to make sure that the mixture is all evenly distributed under the wax paper.

Pressed

Pressed

8.  Wait 2-3 hours (at least), so that granola has time to cool.  When it is cool, open the waxed paper, and carefully turn granola over onto a cutting board, peeling away the rest of the paper.

9.  Using a large chef’s knife, press down (don’t saw!) to separate mixture into bars.  Feel free to make whatever size you’d like.  This recipe yielded me 14 bars, but I am sure I made pretty generously sized bars.

Cutting bars

10.  Wrap individually in wax paper or plastic wrap, to make it easy to snack anytime!

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. Cecilia permalink
    January 31, 2010 5:35 pm

    I LOVE GRANOLA BARS and often buy them in bulk if I can… I am a Chewy Granola bar girl as well especially the peanut butter kind… I would like to know how you rate the ones you just made. Would they be able to compete with the Chewy Granola bars or are they of a delectable class all their own? Wish I could try one today! Would you mail one to me? That would be wonderful!

    • January 31, 2010 6:40 pm

      I think these FAR surpass Chewy ones — plus you can put in whatever you want. I will mail you a batch, maybe next weekend? What do you want in them?

  2. January 31, 2010 5:38 pm

    hey there! I’m so glad you liked the granola bars, and wanted to share them with your readers too!

    I also appreciate that you put the link back to the original recipe on my website – but it would be nice if you had completely written your own directions rather than copying mine and changing just a few words. I work hard on my recipes and posts, and it makes me sad when people simply copy them.

    Also – do we have the same cutting board? How funny!

    • January 31, 2010 6:12 pm

      Thanks for the blog posting. I apologize for the incorrect attribution — I didn’t want to change any steps, so that my readers followed exactly the way I did!

      I am very committed to making these with banana chips, apricots and coconut. Mmm.

      Thanks for reading our blog.

  3. January 31, 2010 5:40 pm

    PS if you want them to be a little “fluffier” like the store-bought ones, you can add puffed rice cereal (don’t toast it) to make them less dense.

  4. ashley permalink
    January 31, 2010 6:42 pm

    those look ridiculously yummy!!!! I appreciate the pics that come along with the explanation of the steps you took. It makes it really comprehensive for anyone who might want to make some.

  5. Meg permalink
    January 31, 2010 6:49 pm

    I can’t wait to eat one! I bet they taste infinitely better than store bought ones!

  6. Meaghan permalink
    January 31, 2010 8:56 pm

    Definitely want to try this out some time!

  7. February 16, 2010 1:45 am

    OMG Those look amazing!!! I’m going to have to try making some of mine own one day! I eat far too many granola bars for my own good. My personal favorite are the Kashi cherry and dark chocolate.

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