Granola bars. Did it ever occur to you that you could make them yourself? Maybe I’m weird, but it definitely didn’t occur to me. I mean, anything that comes sealed in a plastic package inside a cardboard box is too hard to for me make at home, right? Wrong! So, so wrong. This is super easy and even better, it’s completely customizable. Allergic to nuts? Leave ‘em out! Gluten-free? No oats for you, or make sure you’re using certified GF ones. Vegan? Try coconut oil or vegan butter instead of the honey.
As long as you’re following this basic format, you can toss in any old healthy dried ingredients you want. I think I’ll make these with raisins and cranberries next time, but they’d be delicious with dried apricots, dried cherries or dried blueberries, too. You could even add a scoop of protein powder, sprinkle in a bit of cinnamon or try mixing in some nut butter or chocolate chips.
total time: about 40 minutes
total hands on time: 5 to 10 minutes
makes 12 bars
What you’ll need:
1 1/2 cups of oats
3/4 cup coconut flakes
3/4 cup of raisins or other dried fruit
1/2 cup sliced or chopped almonds or other nuts
3 tbsps flaxseeds (optional)
2 tbsps shelled unsalted sunflower seeds
3/4 cups of honey
1 cup of applesauce
1 tsps vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
What you’ll do:
1. Preheat your oven to 350.
2. Grease 9X13 pan. I used a metal one, but glass or porcelain might work better.
3. Combine dry ingredients (oats, coconut, flaxseeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, raisins) in a bowl. Mix well.
4. Next, add wet ingredients (applesauce, honey and vanilla extract). Sprinkle your pinch of sea salt on top and then mix well, so that all of the dry mix is coated with the wet ingredients.
5. Pour the mixture into the pan and, using a wooden spoon or spatula, spread it evenly over the bottom of the pan.
6. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Check from time to time to see how the mixture is browning; once it’s a medium brown color at the edges, take it out.
7. Let cool and then slice up into bars! Wrap them in wax paper or aluminum foil or store them in a tupperware container. The bars should last for a few weeks in the freezer, too.
Word to the wise: These end up pretty moist, so if you’d like your bars to be a bit crispy, add a few minutes onto the cooking time. But check frequently to make sure they’re not burning! Also, I made a batch of these that was a huge failure in terms of actually forming into bars (not enough wet ingredients caused that problem) but I just crumbled them all up and had a week’s worth of toppings for my every day Chobani habit.
I’ve just been popping one of these in my purse every morning before work and VOILA! instant healthy snack for when those afternoon sluggy hours (you know the ones I mean) strike.