food thursday: homemade granola bars

Granola bars are yummy but I think they are a bit on the expensive side. And when you buy them in the store they are also full of bad ingredients (unless you’re totally wholesome and only buy the hard variety with no artificial sweetners, and if so good for you). A few months ago I saw a recipe in a magazine for homemade granola bars and ripped it out. And now, I may never buy a box of granola bars again. These are ridiculously easy to make. Just perfect for little hands in the kitchen. Healthier than the store bought kind and delicious. These will be making many repeat visits to my home for after-school snacks and road trip food.

Granola Bars
2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts are good choices)
3/4 cup dried fruit
3 TB packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 egg whites

1. Preheat oven to 325. Spray a 9×13 metal pan with nonstick spray. Line the pan with foil – leaving an inch or two sticking out on the short sides – and spray the foil.

2. In a glass pie plate spread out your oats. Microwave on high in 1-minute increments for 4 minutes until they smell nice and toasty. Let them cool to room temperature.

3. In large bowl, combine oats, wheat germ, nuts, dried fruit, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Stir in honey, oil and egg whites until well-mixed.

4. Pour mixture into your prepared pan and press it into an even layer with your hands. Bake for 30-32 minutes.

ready for the oven!

5. Cool pan on a wire rack and once cool, use the foil to transfer to a cutting board. Cut them into bars and store them in an airtight container for a week (up to a month if you freeze them).

This week, ours included pecans and cranberries. You can add 3/4 cup of just about any of your favorite granola bar ingredients… I’m pretty sure my kids will be adding mini-chocolate chips to every future batch because, as they noted yesterday, chocolate is good in everything.

Are they hard or soft? well… kind of in-between. They are not crunchy but they are not the gooey soft that you are used to in the store-bought version either.


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