I’ve wanted to try making granola bars for a long time, but for some reason they’ve always intimidated me. I try to send the kids litter-less lunches as much as possible and refrain from buying too many packaged snacks, but I have been known to resort to store bought granola bars on occasion (they’re the ones in the blue box, at least!). I hate giving my kids processed foods and all those unpronounceable ingredients scare me, but here in the real world, busy moms of four can’t bake every few days.
I’m pleased to say that my first attempt at homemade granola bars turned out great, and I don’t know why I haven’t tried them sooner. I used a modified version of this recipe over at Another Lunch and although they were good, next time I will try a little less sugar since I found them very sweet. Although this is still more sugar than I normally like to feed my kids, they’re overall not a bad treat and for sure are a good alternative to store bought snacks. Plus they are guaranteed nut, egg and dairy free so the kids can take them to school without issue.
2 cups oatmeal (not large flake)
1 cup cereal (I used Fibre1 since my kids love it)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 – 1 cup raisins, dried cranberries, etc.
* optional: ground flax seed and/or wheat germ (few tbsp each)
Place cereal in a plastic bag and crush until approximately the same size as the oatmeal. I also ground 1/2 cup of the oatmeal in my Magic Bullet to help the mix stick, not sure how necessary that is. Mix wet ingredients in large mixing bowl; add dry ingredients and reserve dried fruit. Mix very very well by hand until thoroughly combined and all oats are covered with oil and honey mixture. Add fruit at the end and combine. Press into 8×8 square baking pan lined with parchment. A perfectly square pan will release the bars better than one with rounded corners.
Bake at 350F for 17-22 minutes, until golden on top. Keep a close eye and do not overbake!
Remove from oven and leave until completely set, at least a few hours or overnight.
Turn out onto cutting board and slice into bars. Use a very large knife and cut by rocking the knife across the bars. This will prevent them from breaking or crumbling.
Wrap and store in an air tight container.
Thanks to Melissa over at Another Lunch for the thorough instructions!
I also wrote about: