Homemade & Healthy: Granola (Bars)

I include the word “bars” with some hesitation.  My current batch is about half bars, half crumbles, which we eat with a spoon, straight from the bag.  There are a million and one recipes on the web on how to make a granola bar, half of which include too much sugar and the other half have ingredients I don’t have on hand, or not sure I want to eat (like corn syrup).  So, I’m left to experiment, I’m confident there is a perfect ratio of dry and chunky ingredients to wet binders, I just haven’t found it yet.  The Better Crumb is the one recipe I like the best, I would suggest starting there.  And, perhaps if you follow the recipe which I can’t seem to actually do yours might come out as pretty as hers!!


Here is what I have tried, it’s a work in delicious progress:

Nutty Chocolate Granola (Bars)

1.25 cup rolled oats, toasted 
0.5 cup nuts, toasted (I like cashew halves, peanuts and pecans)
1.25 grape nuts, toasted
0.25 unsweetened shredded coconut flakes, toasted
0.25 cup dark chocolate (70%), or semi-sweet chocolate chips
0.5 cup liquid sweetener (mixture of honey, maple syrup, agave, whatever you have)
0.25 cup creamy almond butter or peanut butter (might increase to 0.3 cup to help bind together)
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
shake of cinnamon (optional)
*Going to add 2 tablespoons coconut oil to the next batch to help bind a little better, but I haven’t tried it yet*

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper or foil.

Toast the dry ingredients: oats, chopped nuts, grape nuts, and coconut for 10  minutes until fragrant. Let cool.

In a large bowl combine the wet ingredients: sweetener, peanut butter, flaxseed, vanilla and salt (would add coconut oil here).

Once cooled, combine chocolate and the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix until everything is coated. Transfer mixture to the parchment lined baking tray. Use a rolling-pin to flatten the mixture to a thickness of 1/2 inch, and a bench scraper or your hands to shape it into a rectangle.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, 12 if you want them soft, 15 if a little more crunchy.  Let cool for 10 minutes and cut into bars when they are still a little pliable.  Store in airtight container.  I imagine they would last a week, but we eat them all within 2-3 days!

My next batch might include some dried cherries and mixture of white and dark chocolate.  What is your favorite granola bar combination?


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