homemade granola bars

Homemade Granola Bars

| 21 Comments

I have always been a fan of granola, I like it as cereal and I especially like it as bars because then it becomes a delicious portable snack.  I have a basic recipe that I endlessly adapt to whatever I have on hand in the house or whatever flavors I am craving at the moment. This recipe can and should be constantly adapted so you don’t get tired of the same old flavors.  Easy changes include varying the type of nuts and/or seeds you use and the type of fruit you use or adding in an unexpected element.  The last time I made this, I added a cup of broken pretzels to the mix for a sweet ‘n salty effect.  Sometimes I add a cup of puffed wheat, millet or quinoa to change the texture a little bit. You could copy the flavors of commercial products to come up with your own much healthier gourmet version.

Sometimes I only put the chocolate on half of the tray to please my kids and I leave the other side bare to please the adults in the house.

 

 

Granola Bars

Granola Bars

Ingredients

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (or whatever flour you prefer)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice, or apple pie spice and feel free to use more if you like it stronger)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick (4 oz) softened butter
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) coconut oil (or other oil of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped nuts or seeds in any combination you like
  • 1 cup dried fruit of your choice (example: raisins, cherries, chopped apricots, craisins, blueberries)
  • 1 12 ounce package of high quality chocolate chips (organic is great if you can get it, or Ghiradelli works great for me)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325.
  • Prepare a half sheet pan with either a Silpat liner or parchment paper that you have brushed or sprayed with oil.
  • In a large bowl combine the oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, mixing to combine.
  • In a stand mixer, cream the butter, oil, honey, sugar and vanilla until light and creamy looking.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the mixer and combine thoroughly, then add the fruit and nuts and mix until just combined.
  • Pour the mixture out onto the prepared sheet pan and spread it out evenly with a spatula. If you have a second sheet pan of the same size, lay it in on top of the mixture and press down very firmly to compact the mixture as much as possible. If you don't have a second pan, use your spatula to compress it as evenly as you can.
  • Bake the mixture for 15 minutes then repeat the compression step and put it back in the oven. After another 15 minutes, remove from the oven and compress again. Return to the oven for a final 15 minutes and then compress it for the final time.
  • After the final compression, put the pan on your counter and scatter the package of chocolate chips evenly across the top of the granola. The heat from the granola will start to melt the chocolate almost right away and you can use a spatula to spread the chocolate evenly over the surface of the granola.
  • After the granola cooled for about 10 minutes, use a pizza cutter to cut it into pieces while still in the pan and then leave it to finish cooling and for the chocolate to harden.
  • When completely cool, you can wrap up the pieces in waxed paper or parchment paper and then store in a loosely covered container to maintain crispness.
  • I can't say how long they will stay fresh because they only last a few days in my house!
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http://www.jensnaturalkitchen.com/homemade-granola-bars/

 

This post is participating in These Chicks Cooked Recipe Swap #42 , Real Food Wednesday , Healthy 2Day Wednesdays , Whole Food Wednesdays, Friday Food Flicks, Tuesday’s Tasty Tidbits, Simple Lives Thursday, Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Foodie Friday, Make Your Own! Monday, Full Plate Thursday, Sweets for Saturday, Sweet Saturday Link Party, Trick or Treat Tuesday

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21 Comments

  1. Those granola bars look great! Love that you used coconut oil. Thanks for linking up at the recipe swap, Jen!

  2. These sound delicious, and I love the adaptability! Thanks for sharing this recipe; I can’t wait to try it with my toddler! (I linked up this recipe in my own blog and plan to share it with friends!! http://auroraspitfire.blogspot.com/2011/07/williams-sonoma-comes-through-again.html)

  3. Jen, these sound lovely! I love using coconut oil in granola and protein bars. Thanks so much for swinging by Whole Food Wednesday. Hope to see you again next week!

  4. Pingback: Homemade Granola Bars

  5. This recipe sounds great! Love the site. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I recently got this idea in my head to make granola bars… I googled homemade granola bars and I liked this recipe best of all the ones I found. I plan to try it soon. Have you calculated the cost of the homemade granola bars vs. store bought? I was just curious if making your own saves money too.

    • Sarah,
      I have found that making food at home usually costs less than buying it at the store, especially when you are talking about organic products. I make my granola bars with mostly organic ingredients and I spend roughly the same on ingredients for a batch of 2 dozen bars as I would spend for a box of 6 bars at the health food store. I will break down my cost per ounce of each ingredient when I make my next weekly batch so I can give you concrete numbers.

  7. I LOVE your motto! Your granola bars look great! I found you on Healthy 2day Wed. I love comparing recipes, and yours caught my eye. I have a 4 ingredient granola bar you might want to check out if you are interested: http://practical-stewardship.com/2012/02/29/4-ingredient-peanut-butter-granola-bars/

    Blessings to you! Sonja

    • Thanks Sonja, I love checking out other people’s recipes too so I am headed over to your site right now to check out that granola bar recipe!

  8. I was wondering – if I use raw honey, which is usually sweeter, I find, than regular, can I cut down on the amount of either the honey or else the sugar? I don’t want to compromise the “stickiness” of the bars, though…what do you think?

    • I use like to use raw honey in my kitchen too. If you were looking to cut down on the sweetness, I would start with the sugar first for the very reason you suspect – the stickiness factor. I am not sure what the tipping point is for holding the bars together but because this recipe is also having you manually compress the mixture throughout the cooking time, I suspect that you could reduce the sugar without compromising the bars’ ability to stay together. I encourage you to experiment because the worst case scenario is that your bars don’t hold together and you end up with a delicious batch of granola cereal.

  9. Hi Jen,
    Your homemade Granola Bars look awesome. Hope you have a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  10. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  11. I think ghiradelli( sp?-sorry) is pretty much gmo. I no longer support them after knowing that,I would stick to the organic chocolate or lindt which is non gmo. Awesome recipe,I favoratied it so I can make it soon as organic granola bars are pretty pricey,when you can just make them pretty cheaply at home. NOw I have to perfect them to make them worthy of never buying them in a box again.

    • Thanks for the info, I’ll have to look into alternate chocolate! The thing I like best about homemade granola bars is that you can customize with your perfect add-ins. :)

  12. Just made these today. They’re pretty good! Crunchy & not too sweet. I did not put the chocolate on top. I also halved the recipe and baked it in a 13X9 pan.

  13. Hi! I was looking around for granola recipes to add onto my Toddler Activities page on my site and these hit the mark. I just made and they were wonderful! I left out a cup and a half of the oats and replaced it with cocoa pebbles instead to get that slightly chocolaty flavor without the chocolate on top. I also realized too late that I was out of honey. I replaced the honey with a syrup and natural creamy peanut butter mix. It turned out great! They stuck together and are slightly crunchy…. I was not sure if they were supposed to be crunchy or chewy though. None the less, they taste great. Thanks for the recipe

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