It looks like this is the most popular granola bar recipe on the Internet. :)
After a trip to the grocery store yesterday I renewed my resolution to bake my own healthy granola bars for the girls to bring to school. Gah. I walked past aisle after aisle of over-sugared, over salted, high-fructose corny syrup, over hyped, over packaged crap. I just had to make my own. (I even saw Disney Princess SANDWICH BAGS. Fer chrissakes.)
Anyway, after a lot of searching I found a healthy granola bar recipe to make for my kids, but after reading a few of the comments posted with the recipe I decided to alter it a bit and make it my own.
This one is a keeper. It was wildly successful, despite the fact I totally screwed it up (but more on that later), and it received an enthusiastic thumbs up from everyone. Here’s what they look like:
Here’s my version … (it’s nut-free, and you can make this as organic as you want)
2 cups rolled oats (I’ve upped it to 2 1/2 cups for another batch and they turned out great)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flax
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I think it was called “soft” flour)*
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cherry-flavoured cranberries
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup canola oil (I might try substituting some of the oil with apple sauce next time)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* I picked up a lot of these ingredients at the bulk food store. I’ve also made a batch with sunflower seeds and whole flax seeds. They were just as great! I find that if I add raisins and cranberries the bars become sweeter and chewier. You’ll have to experiment and figure out what you like best.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 x 13 baking pan.
2. In large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, flax, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the centre, pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well. Pat the mixture evenly into the pan. It will be sticky.
3. Bake for about 30 minutes, but watch the baking time. If you leave them in too long they’ll be dry. I like mine a bit chewier so 30 minutes works for us. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars or squares. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting or they will be too hard to cut.
So. I mixed the ingredients. The original recipe said to use your hands to mix, which I did, and I realized I really didn’t need to. Oh well. After I was done I licked ALL TEN FINGERS because the mixture was so good. I poured the mixture into the pan and popped it into the hot oven. After about five minutes I realized that the mixture was a little too wet. And THEN I realized it was because I forgot to add the flour. I pulled it out, sprinkled the flour on top, mixed it in, and put it back into the oven. PEOPLE, THIS IS THE WAY I COOK THINGS.
BUT they were still pretty good.
I’m not sure if they’ll be sweet enough for everyone’s liking. I reduced the amount of sugar, but I found the raisins made the bars sweeter. The girls like them, and that’s what matters to me.
If you try them let me know how they turn out for you! Any questions? Please let me know.
Update: June 2015
This recipe for granola bars is still a family favourite! My kids love bringing them to school. I bake them on Sunday afternoons for the week ahead.
You can cut them as large or small as you like. For this batch I cut them into bigger bars before I wrapped them in foil and popped them in the freezer… although I’m not sure why I bother, because they disappear so quickly.