Simply Homemade Granola Bars
Around our home we are always looking for easy things to make that can be included in lunches. Afterall, when you are out all day building docks and homes in the freezing cold, you need a substantial and healthy lunch to keep you going.
I’ve been curious about trying to make the “oh so delicious granola cereal” into granola bars and decided today was the day to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised that it was not only easy but it worked. YEAH!!! And, Matt gives them two thumbs up…although, I’m not sure that means too much as he loves to eat and isn’t fussy. But, I do agree they are really tasty and really (I mean really) easy to make.
This recipe is more or less the exact same recipe that we used to make the granola cereal. If you have a homemade granola cereal you like just make the following highlighted modifications to make them into granola bars.
RECIPE FOR HOMEMADE GRANOLA BARS (makes about 20 bars):
- 3 cups rolled oats (Note: this is half of the oats we used to make the granola cereal)
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup wheat germ (optional)
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry or bread flour
- 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
- 1 1/2 cups salted and unsalted sunflower seeds
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cups toasted sesame seeds (we just lightly toasted them in the same pan used for the rolled oats)
- 1/2 cup salted pumpkin seeds
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional ~ we don’t add any salt because some of the seeds are already salted…do it to your taste)
- 1/2 cup oil (sunflower)
- 1/2 cup of honey (I used a little bit more)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (next time I would add more to make the bars a little sweeter)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (250mL or pint jar) of unsweetened thick applesauce
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Toast oats for 5 minutes in a dry skillet over medium heat. Let cool. Use the same skillet to toast any additional seeds.
- In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, mix honey, oil, maple syrup, and applesauce and blend well. Add vanilla.
- Combine dry and wet ingredients and blend together gently until well moistened. The mixture should be moist but not too wet. If it is still crumbly, add a little more applesauce. Be sure to add it in small spoonfuls because you do not want this mixture to be too wet.
- Line a pan approximately 10″ x 13″ with parchment paper and press mixture into pan. I used a pan that was a couple of inches deeper than a cookie sheet so that my bars would be about an inch thick.
- Bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Cut into bars while warm, and leave to cool. Note: Do not remove the bars from the pan until they are completely cool or they may break apart.
- You can substitute any of the seeds and dried fruit for your own favorites or make additions like chocolate chips or toasted nuts. Just be sure not to increase the amounts too much or you may have to adjust the amount of flour to make them form into bars.
- Layer bars (placing a piece of parchment paper between each layer)in an air tight container and store in the refrigerator for 1 week or in the freezer for longer.
These are a great addition to any lunch but also make an excellent breakfast bar for those on the run. Have fun experimenting!