My daughters have been making granola bars for their families and I happened to taste them while visiting recently. They were so good that I decided to give the recipe a try. I now make them, and always a double batch at a time!! They are so easy and make a nice healthy treat to pack in my husband’s lunch.
If you find them too sweet, you can cut back on the sugar; just adjust it to your tastes. I always use half all-purpose flour and half whole-wheat flour. Nuts, seeds and fruit combinations are many; just use your imagination and your families’ preferences. Store them in a sealed container, or individually wrap them for take’n’go!!
2 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup flour
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously grease a 9×13 baking pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt.
In a small bowl, mix your eggs, honey, oil and vanilla. Add this mixture to the oats mixture and mix well with your hands or a large mixing spoon (less messy). Pat the mixture into the prepared pan, using a fork to pat the mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 30-35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden brown at edges.
Set your timer and cool for just 5 minutes before cutting into bars. If you wait longer they will be too hard to cut.
My hint…Instead of greasing the pan I use no stick aluminum foil to line the pan. At five minutes after baking, I slide the foil from the pan and then cut the bars with a pizza wheel cutter. Works great!
Here comes the fun part…making different varieties of granola bars.
You may add anything you like. To every batch that I make, I also add 1/4 cup flax seed and 2-4 T. sesame seed. I add these for the nutritional value and just because we happen to like them!
In addition to the flax and sesame seed, my other variations have been some of these following ( using about 1/4-1/2 cup of each ingredient):
Miniature M&M, Raisin and Sunflower Seed
Apricot, Coconut and Pecan (this is my favorite so far using chopped dried apricots)
Craisins, Orange Zest, and Almond
Chocolate Chips, Peanuts and Raisins
Dried Pineapple, Coconut and Macadamia Nut
Dried Apple, Raisin and Walnut
Here are some other add-in ideas that I had:
Peanut Butter Chips
*In addition to using half whole-wheat flour, I sometimes substitute oat bran for the wheat germ. Try different combinations and see what you like best.
These bars are just a little bit softer than the hard crunchy bars from the store. If you want them to be harder, turn your oven up to 350 degrees and experiment with baking time.