I have always been a big fan of granola bars. I love taking a bite and getting something different each time. I love the fact that they have good-for-you stuff in them. I love that they transport well. Love them. For years and years I always had the store bought ones around and although I was aware that they were sugar-packed and not-as-good-for-you as we’d like to think/are led to believe, I sort of shrugged it off and kept on buying them. Eventually, though, I started to lose the joy in eating them and really felt a twinge of guilt every time I gave my kid one, so I decided to try to make them.
I wanted a granola bar that had protein, chewiness (not break-a-tooth hard, although sometimes those are good too), sweetness but not too sweet, and a shelf life—because, let’s be honest, a large batch of granola bars can last quite a while.
After experimenting with many different recipes and modifying my favorites, I have developed one that I love. They are pretty quick and easy to make (15 minutes active time, 30 in the oven). They do still have sugar in them, but a lot less than the prepackaged ones and, honestly, a lot less than a lot of the other recipes out there. They are chewy, packed with good stuff, store and freeze well, and the possibilities in terms of what to put in are endless so they can be different every time! Like them a little saltier? Go for it! Want some more spice? Go crazy! Like chocolate? I’m not gonna judge! No nuts? Different nuts? You choose!
I use them for breakfasts when I’m sick of granola and oatmeal, snacks when we are on the move, and dessert.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- ½ cup (or less) brown sugar
- ¼ cup oat flour (tip: you don’t have to buy this, just throw some rolled oats into a mini-prep or food process and grind until it is very fine, almost like flour)
- ¼ cup flax meal (tip: could also replace with more oat flour)
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup whole wheat flour or spelt flour (tip: the spelt flour adds more protein)
- 1 cup cranberries, chopped walnuts combined (or whatever other goodies you like)
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ cup honey
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ cup coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, or grease it.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (oats, sugar, oat flour, flax meal, cinnamon, whole wheat/spelt flour, cranberries & nuts, salt).
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients (honey, egg, oil, vanilla)
- Mix well using your hands or a wooden spoon.
- Poor the mixture into the pan and pat it out evenly.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges.
- Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then cut into bars while still warm. If you wait to cut until they are completely cool, it will be incredibly difficult to cut.
- Store in a glass, sealed container for up to a week or freeze.