Sunday, January 27, 2013

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

I was noticing that the kids wanted to eat a granola bar almost every single day. I get freaked out about my kids eating the same thing day after day after day especially when it is store bought and there’s no way of knowing what’s really in it. That’s when I decided to try a homemade granola bar recipe.
I made several batches until I came up with the best in my opinion. I like my granola bars nutty and chewy and sweet. I also like them chock full of fiber:) These are delicious and my kids eat them up. The best part about them is that you can basically make them your own by adding whatever you like. Try them and you’ll love them!

2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 t salt
1/4 t cinnamon or other spice you like
2 1/2 cups additions such as: dried fruit, seeds nuts, flax seed, bran cereal, puffed rice cereal, crushed pretzels, marshmallows, chocolate chips, etc. My combo is 1/4c flax seed, 1/2 cup bran cereal, 1 cup puffed rice cereal (for good crunch), 1/2 cup toasted almonds (chopped) and 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips.
1/3 cup peanut butter or other nut butter
6 T olive oil (you can use other oils or melted butter)
1/4 cup honey (you can use maple syrup)
1 T water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper, then lightly grease the paper with non-stick cooking spray. 

Process 1/3 cup of the oats in a blender or food processor until finely ground.
If necessary, chop up dried fruit and nuts. Stir together all dry ingredients. Whisk together oil, honey, peanut butter and water. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients then spread into prepared pan. Press firmly into the corners and edges so the top is even.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the sides start to brown. They may feel underdone in the middle, but will firm up as they cool. Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes. Then take them out of the pan using the parchment paper. Let cool completely before cutting.
I got about 14 bars out of one batch. Keep them in an airtight container or wrap them in plastic wrap for an on-the-go treat. Enjoy!