Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Chewy Oatmeal Granola Bars

We've tried a lot of different recipes for granola bars over the past couple of years. I was determined to find a successful homemade granola bar when my youngest began to want them all the time. I was tired of paying so much money for a box of excessive packaging and lots of extra--sometimes questionable--ingredients.

In a quest to consume fewer prepackaged snacks, granola bars became one of the easiest store-bought items to replace with homemade.

We have a few favorites. Each recipe is a little different. Click on these links to experiment with our favorite go-to granola bars, then scroll on down to the bottom of the post to see our newest creation:

  • If you are partial to really crispy granola bars like Nature's Valley, I think Pioneer Woman's recipe is very similar. We made it once, but it is a little more time consuming. If that is the flavor and texture you crave, however, it's well worth the effort.

Today we played around a little with our Playgroup Bars. Actually, the tinkering with the recipe happened quite by accident. I had added too much oatmeal and needed to fix it. So here is our latest granola bar recipe, and I have to admit, these are amazing! Sometimes mishaps create the best new recipes. :) Enjoy.

Tada! Another brand new recipe!

Chewy Oatmeal Granola Bars

3 c. rolled oats
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. crispy rice cereal
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 c. any dried fruit (raisins, dried cranberries or cherries, dates, apricots..or make a mix of a few)
1 egg
1/3 c. oil or applesauce (we fill a 1/3 cup measure mostly with applesauce, then top off with oil)
1/3 c. honey
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2 Prepare a 10x13 pan by lightly greasing it (a 10x13x1 jelly roll pan is so perfect for homemade granola bars...if you plan to make them often, you may want to get one!)

3. Stir oats, flour, crispy rice cereal, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl until combined. Add raisins or dried fruit and stir until evenly distributed.

4. Form a well in the middle of all the dry ingredients. Into the well crack open the egg and beat it slightly with your mixing spoon. Add oil/applesauce, honey, and milk on top of the egg and begin combining all ingredients. Add chocolate chips and then mix thoroughly. The batter will seem very thick and dry, but the more you mix and work with it, it will all come together. If you can't get the last bit of flour to incorporate, add another T or two of milk.

5. Press the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then cut into snack size bars. We get 15 out of one pan. Let cool completely (or at least most of the way) and enjoy! These store well in a covered container, and are very portable if you allow kids to eat on the way to school in the morning!

*note: I really prefer kosher salt in my granola bar recipes. Something about the large crystals adds the perfect subtle salt flavor to complement the sweet.
*just like in the Playgroup bars, add 2 T. of millet for a really awesome subtle crunch. We are out of millet right now, but next time I will sure add them!

1 comment:

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