Every time I eat a granola bar, I always stare closely into it to see what is in it. After identifying the ingredients that I can, I always think, I bet this is so easy to make!
Lately I've really been trying to not consume anything with ingredients that I can't pronounce or identify; only whole natural ingredients that are simply food!
After doing some research, I confirmed that granola bars are extremely easy to make. They are so versatile, you can have two or 10 of your favorite ingredients all mixed together!
Finally, this recipe gives you a reason to browse though all the bulk bins at the health food store! I was there so long I was able to help other shoppers find what they were looking for.
So, depending on what you find and what you like to taste, your ingredients can fit into the structure of the recipe as follows.
- 3 cups of rolled oats
- 1.5-2.5 cups of seeds, nuts, and/or rice (pepitas, sunflower, chia, flax, cashews, almonds, puffed rice, puffed quinoa, etc.)
- 1 cup of dried fruit (raisins, dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, etc)
- ¼ tsp salt
For the “binder,” use:
- 2/3 cup nut butter (almond, cashew, hazelnut, sunflower, peanut)
- 2/3 cup honey or agave
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. The oats and nuts can be quickly toasted in a skillet if you wish but it is not necessary. Including puffed rice will make the bars a bit lighter in calories and density.
Mix the honey and nut butter in a bowl with a whisk. Again, this can be slightly melted in a pan for better whisking ability, but it's up to you.
Combine the mixtures well, then spread into parchment-lined or sprayed 13x9 dish. Use a spatula to spread evenly and compress into the dish.
Refrigerate for a few hours. If you used agave, you might need to freeze instead, since agave is not as sticky as honey. To cut the bars, you can remove the parchment paper and place the whole thing on the counter to cut with a large knife. I individually wrapped bars, then put some “bites” in a bag also. Store a week’s supply in the fridge and the rest in the freezer! Makes about two dozen bars.
Now you have your on-the-go snack without putting all those mysterious ingredients into your body. Not to mention they taste great (my parents loved them), and you save money!