Granola Bars

I love granola bars! They are such a quick and easy breakfast or snack on-the-go. But when I went to buy some at the store recently, I started reading labels and was appalled. The only brand that wasn't filled with chemicals, preservatives, hydrogenated fats and high fructose corn syrup was, for one thing, the very most expensive brand, and also tasted terrible.

This cannot be!!! So I decided to make my own. It's actually not that labor-intensive, plus they taste good! And even better, I made nearly 4 times as many granola bars for the same amount of money as the nasty tasting store-bought brand.

(This recipe was adapted from one by Alton Brown)

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup chopped almonds
(I bought whole almonds and smashed them with a hammer! Great stress relief!!)
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 T butter
2 t vanilla extract
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 cups chopped dried fruit
(I used cranberries and golden raisins, I think next time I might do a cran-apple of some kind)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking dish (for thicker bars, use a 9x9 pan, for thinner, use a 13x9 pan) and set aside. On a cookie sheet, spread the first four ingredients and toast in the oven for 15 minutes. Stir the mixture every so often.

Meanwhile...combine the honey, sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar completed dissolves.

Reduce the oven heat to 300. Remove the oat mixture from the oven and add it to the sugar mixtures, throw in your dried fruit and stir. (I threw in some chocolate chips, but it immediately melted and disappeared, so I may not do that again. If I get real ambitious, I might drizzle some melted chocolate on top at the end.) Press the mixture into your greased baking dish, making sure to distribute it evenly. Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely before taking it out of the pan. Cut into squares. (This will yield a different amount depending on what size pan you use. I used a 9x9 pan and got 14 1"x3"x1" squares. AI also wrapped each bar in shrink wrap and stored what I won't eat this week in the freezer. The bars will keep at room temperature for about a week.)


Bonnie said...

These look great Jill ! I'm going to try them ... without the brown sugar, of course ! I think I'll up the honey ... or maybe add some maple syrup ... we'll see. I'll let you know how they go.

MODsquad said...

We've seen Alton's recipe and have wanted to try it. This sounds great! Thank you!