Make Your Own Granola Bars


A recipe.


Do you ever look at the ingredients on your favorite snack bar and still wonder what you’re eating?  Or maybe you see certain ingredients listed you’d prefer to avoid—like soy, corn syrup or sugar.  Fortunately, making your own granola bars is quick and easy, and when you make the bars yourself, you’ll know they’re packed with hearty goodness.


Easy Substitution


Chopping the walnuts.

Don't like walnuts? Try almonds, instead.

The great part about this recipe is how easy it is to substitute ingredients or add your own favorites.  Consider this a basic granola bar recipe only and feel free to add your favorite nuts, dried berries, or chocolate or carob chips.


Less For Me


I just love the nutty flavor.

When you make them yourself, you know what's in them.

Now, as I’m trying to cut back on some of my sugar intake and empty calories, I made this recipe without any refined sugar at all.  I used honey and applesauce to sweeten it and while I thought the end result tasted good, I’m sure many people would want to add about a quarter to a third of a cup of brown sugar (packed).


There are other options for sweetening—you can add agave nectar or chocolate chips.  A good semi-sweet chocolate chip might be enough to tip the balance.  I’d suggest trying the basic recipe first and test it for flavor.  If you don’t find it sweet enough, then add what you like the next time around. Meantime, rather than toss your first batch, melt some chocolate chips and spread over the top.  A little chocolate works wonders!


Sizing It Up


I made my bars in an 8 x 8 glass baking pan.  If you have a 9 x13 pan, you can figure on doubling the recipe (the bars will be slightly thicker so may need another minute or two for cooking time).


All set?  Start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees.


Let’s Gather The Ingredients:


Start with healthy ingredients for healthy snacks.

I always start by gathering the ingredients first to see what I've got to work with.

Again, this recipe is forgiving so if you don’t have all the ingredients listed just substitute another.  For example, if you don’t have wheat germ, just substitute more wheat flour or use another type of flour, instead.



1-1/4 cup oats

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup wheat germ

1/4 cup flaxseed meal

1/4 sunflower seeds

1/3 cup chopped walnuts (or almonds)

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup applesauce

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup peanut butter (or almond butter)


Mix It Up:


The order isn't important for this recipe.

Add in all the dry ingredients first and then stir.

Add all the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl—oats, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, flaxseed meal, sunflower seeds, nuts, coconut, cinnamon and soda.  Note: Chop the nuts before adding.


You could also add brown sugar.

Pour on that honey!

Now, add the wet ingredients—applesauce, honey, vanilla and peanut butter.


Mix everything until well blended.


These are almost ready to bake.

Line your pan with parchment paper and press in the mix.

If you have parchment paper, line the inside of your pan with it instead of coating it with oil.  This works great and the bars will come right out on the paper after they’re cooked.  If you don’t have parchment paper, spray a light coat of oil on the pan.  Press the mixture onto pan.


Bake in the oven about 20 minutes.  If you like a bit crunchier texture you can cook them a little longer (just keep an eye on them).


This recipe makes about 16 bars.

Removing these from the pan is a snap with parchment paper.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow the granola to cool about 10 minutes.  Now, lifting the corners of the parchment paper, pull the granola out of the pan and place it on a cutting board.  Cut into squares while still slightly warm.  Makes about 16 two-inch squares.






If you enjoyed this recipe you may want to read:
Hearty Twist On Chocolate Chip
Or for more recipe ideas visit our new Recipe page by clicking here.



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