My husband, Chad, loves granola bars. I don’t like all of the preservatives in the store-bought ones, so I wanted to make a homemade alternative. I scoured the Internet and began to test out different recipes. I came up with a winning recipe, which Chad prefers over store-bought bars. You can pack the bars with protein and antioxidants, making it the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.
Homemade Granola Bars
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup whole wheat flower
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 to 3 cups dried fruits, nuts, chocolate chips*
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons blue agave syrup (or white corn syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat an 11″ x 7″ metal baking pan with a non-stick spray.
Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts. Melt the butter on the stove top then stir in the peanut butter. Once the peanut better is melted, remove from heat and add remaining liquid ingredients (honey, agave, vanilla, water). Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading it so it takes molds to the pan.
Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges. The middle will be soft, but will harden as it cools. Then place the pan on a cooling rack. Once the bars a cool, cut into pieces with a serrated knife.
*Suggestions: Dried cranberries, apricots, banans, apples, peanuts, pecans, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, coconut, sesame seeds, pepitas, chocolate chips. (You can pulse your ingredients in a food processor, I did not, so my bars are a bit chunky.)