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Home-made Granola Bars

September 16, 2011

As we prep for our big move, I’ve been hard at work devising food options that will allow us to avoid the fast food danger zone as much as possible.  What better snack for a 5 day road trip than granola bars? Because I am me and a little crazy, not to mention a tad cheap, I decided I would make my own.  Everything tastes a little bit better, and a little healthier, when you make it from scratch.

I decided to take it a step farther and make my own granola while I was at it.  Plus, finding plain low-fat granola is pretty impossible.  I think my 1-year old would munch on this all day long if I let him…

Plain Low-Fat Granola

3 cups Rolled oats (not quick cooking)
2 tablespoons Wheat germ
1/4 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup Plain unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup Honey
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Vegetable or canola oil

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
3. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet. Make sure you have an even layer and the isn’t crowded.  (You may need to use two pans.)  Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the granola is a golden brown color.
4. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before eating or storing in an airtight container.

Home-made Granola Bar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar (see tips above)
1/4 cup honey
2 cups plain granola
1 cup rice cereal (Rice Krispies, etc.)
1/4 cup each of desired add-ins (ex. chocolate chips, peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds)
1. Line two 9×5 loaf pans, one 11×7 inch baking pan or one 9 x baking pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium saucepot over medium-high heat, combine honey and butter. When the butter starts to melt stir in brown sugar. Bring mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and keept at a simmer until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
3. Add granola, rice cereal. and dry ingredients of your choosing to saucepot and fold them into the sauce until evenly coated.
4. Spread the mixture into the prepared pans and press firmly with a spatula to evenly fill. Sprinkle on any ingredients that may melt at this time (ex. chocolate chips or marshmallows), and press down with a spatula.
5. Let sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes or until mostly cooled and set; lift out of the pan and cut into bars.

Kate’s Thoughts

To ensure the granola bars stick together well, I recommend reducing the amount of granola you incorporate by 1/4 cup for every additional 1/4 cup add in ingredient you include above 1/2 cup.  Meaning if you add 1/4 each chocolate chips, almonds, and peanuts, reduce granola to 1 3/4 cups.  This will ensure the granola bars will properly firm up and stick together.

I also like to add in a tablespoon of peanut butter to the brown sugar mixture as it cooks, but I am huge peanut butter fan!

My favorite granola bar variety is trail mix: raisins, cranberries, almonds, peanuts, and chocolate chips.  Other combinations: apple pie (cinnamon, dried apples); honey almond; chocolate cherry (dark chocolate, dried cherries); s’mores (ground graham crackers, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows).  The possibilities are endless!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Megan permalink
    March 6, 2013 4:24 pm

    I made these today and OMG!!! So amazing!!! Never buying granola bars again!!

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