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.
- 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)
- 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!
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