Soft & Chewy Granola Bars
The thing I love most about granola bars, well besides their sweet oaty goodness, is that they’re completely customizable! Don’t like almonds, use pecans or hazelnuts, or whatever you like! Same with the fruit, hell you don’t have to use fruit or nuts at all if you don’t like them (or have an allergy).
Here’s what I used:
2 1/2c old fashioned rolled oats (not the quick cook ones)
1/2c almonds (didn’t have a full half cup so I threw in a few pecans & walnuts)
1/4c packed light brown sugar
1/2tsp vanilla extract
1/4tsp kosher salt
1/4c dried apricots & dates
1/4 mini semisweet chocolate chips
Here’s what I did:
-preheat oven to 350′
-line an 8 or 9 in square pan with aluminum foil then lightly oil, butter, or spray lightly with cooking spray. We don’t want your bars to stick!
-Rough chop the almonds, pecans & walnuts
-spread oats & nuts onto a baking sheet & toast in 350′ oven for approximately 10min, tossing every 3min. Once you smell those bad boys they’re basically done.
-once toasted to your liking, transfer oats & nuts to a large mixing bowl & set aside.
-combine butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla & salt in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium, stirring often until the butter melts & sugar dissolves completely.
-pour sweet butter mixture into your large mixing bowl of oats & nuts, mix well
-let cool about 5 min
-while that mix is cooling dice your dried fruit then add to your mixing bowl
-add your mini chocolate chips & mix well (these will probably melt some, that’s ok, it will help your bars stick together. If you like, reserve some chips for the tops of your bars)
-Transfer your granola mixture into your prepared baking dish, use your rubber spatula or damp fingers to press down into the pan (press firmly! The more your press down now, the better your bars will hold together. I used damp fingers & pressed down for a good minute or 2, making sure to get the corners & sides.
-if you reserved some chocolate chips for the top, now would be the time to add them, then press them in firmly
-cover with foil & refrigerate for 2hrs to overnight
-remove from the refrigerator, remove the foil lined granola block from the pan then peel back the foil from the sides. cut into your preferred size bar & Enjoy!
Next time I think I’ll try cranberries instead of apricots & will definitely add some sunflower seeds & maybe some flax seed or something like it. What version do you think you’ll try? Any healthy additions you could recommend to a total health food newbie??
Thanks & Enjoy!