Make Your Own Chewy Granola Bars

This winter I decided to spend time experimenting with some healthy snack recipes.  Yogurt and granola bars were my major focus because we eat a lot of them in our house.  The yogurt results were mixed.  So more on that in a future blog.  But Alton Brown’s granola bar recipe was a winner.  I use his technique and ratio of ingredients but modify based on whatever I have on hand.   

Try a classic combo like cranberry almond with sunflower seeds or chocolate chip with coconut and walnuts.   Adding a zest of citrus flavors with dried figs or blueberries is an amazing taste of Spring.  Whatever your favorite, you’ll find these to be just the boost you need-pre workout, a healthy lunchbox treat or simply perfect with a cup of tea.

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-oats)
1/2 cup seeds (e.g.) sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, chia
1 cup nuts, chopped
½ cup wheat germ, flax meal, unsweetened shredded coconut or quinoa
1/2 cup honey or agave
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1-ounce unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup dried fruit and/or chocolate chips
Zest of 1 lemon or orange (optional)

Preheat oven to 350˚.  Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper, covering the bottom and up the sides of the pan.  Trim any excess.  Toss oats, seeds, nuts and your choice of wheat germ, flax coconut or quinoa together.  Spread on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.  Once oats are done, remove from oven and reduce temperature to 300˚.

In a medium saucepan combine honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt.  Stir over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Add lemon or orange zest (optional).

Stir toasted oat mixture into the saucepan with the honey mixture.  Add dried fruit and stir until all ingredients are combined and well coated.  Press evenly into the prepared baking pan and bake 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting. 

I stored the bars in a glass container with an airtight lid for 2 weeks.  

Original recipe:

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