Granola is a food (or food category) that is an acquired taste. I also believe that there is some stigma which goes along with granola. When you talk about granola to some people you get looks that infer “go back to the 60’s, Hippie”. That could just be me, but I don’t think so. So, it might be odd that I embarked on a journey to make homemade granola bars.
I love granola as part of my breakfast. I got very cozy with it a few years ago on a trip to Canada with a friend. We found a little bakery that we went to for breakfast, and I had the granola bowl; a homemade granola with triple berry compote. When I got back from the trip I started making my own granola. I have tweaked it probably a dozen times, to create something that I enjoy , my children enjoy, and I feel good feeding it to them.
Recently, The Hubs has been buying granola bars. Not the “chewy” type of granola bars, but the crispy, crunchy Natural type of granola bar. He also bought some granola nut squares (I’m not really sure what they were called, but that is a good description) I discovered that I like both of these quite a bit. Maybe even a little bit too much. So, I set out to create my own. I read the back of the packages to discover the ingredients and looked online for recipes that were similar to what I was looking for. I found two recipes that were close and went from there.
What I made is nothing short of amazing. These granola bars are wonderful. Daughters 3 and 4 both really, really liked them. I had a hard time keeping them out of them! The Hubs was ok with them. D2 thought they were too hard. She prefers the chewy ones. My decision to make homemade granola bars was two-fold. I wanted to save some money and to know what is in them. My plan: to make them healthy and delicious.
I am quite pleased with the nutritional values, too. They are very similar than the ones I purchased, taste great, and I know that they are made with quality ingredients. While they aren’t gluten free, but I did sub much of the flour with rice flour, which I am quite pleased with!
These homemade granola bars are something that we will all be enjoying for quite some time. I will be sure to keep you informed of changes I make, that improve on this recipe.
I hope you can enjoy these without feeling like you have to jump back into the ‘60’s!
Crunchy Granola Bars
- 3 cups rolled oats
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup shredded coconut I used sweetened
- 1/3 cup Turbinado sugar Sugar in the Raw
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- ¾ cup brown rice flour
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup crunchy peanut butter
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 egg beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet or jelly roll pan with cooking spray.
In a food processor pulse the oats for a few seconds until they are ground slightly, but not powdery. They should vary in size.
In a large bowl mix together oats, nuts, coconut, sugars, flours, and salt.
In a microwave safe measuring cup or small bowl melt peanut butter and honey. Add the honey, oil, vanilla, and beaten egg into the peanut butter mixture. Mix well. Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl with the oat mixture and mix thoroughly. You may want to use your hands to ensure thorough coating and mixing.
Press the mixture firmly into the baking pan, making sure it is spread to the edges and into the corners. Pat the granola until it is very firmly in place. I use my hands and a rubber spatula.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Cut into 24 even bars when cooled. Store in a tightly covered container or storage bag.