Granola Bars

Granola bars are a healthy, portable snack bu I dislike using processed foods, especially in quantity, so I decided to investigate how hard it would be to make my own granola bars. This is what I came up with.

These are so easy and so good for you. I have practiced this recipe many times and I finally figured out the correct ratio of the different ingredients.

To make these granola bars you will need:

  • jelly roll pan (approx. 13×18″) or two brownie pans (9×9″)
  • parchment paper
  • cooking spray or butter wrappers for greasing
  • pizza cutter — for cutting the bars

First you toast the dry ingredients in a dry pan.

The ingredients you use are mix and match but you need a ratio of: 4:2:2:.5 — 4 cups dry,  2 cups sticky/moist, 2 cups binder, 1/2 cup fat. Here’s a breakdown of what each category can contain:

Dry

  • whole oats (the most popular and obvious choice)
  • puffed rice
  • cornflakes
  • bran flakes
  • cheerios
  • wheat germ
  • flax meal
  • pretzel pieces
  • nuts: almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, raw peanuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, soy nuts
  • seeds: sunflower, flax, pumpkin, sesame

Sticky/Moist

  • dried fruit: banana chips (crushed), raisins, apricots, apples, prunes, dates, cranberries, blueberries, pomegrante
  • chocolate chips — white, milk or dark
  • butterscotch chips
  • toffee pieces
  • coconut (unsweetened is better for this)
IMG_0107

When you pour the mixture into the pan, you want to press it down with the bottom of a spatula. This mixture has cashews, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and chopped dates

Binder —the standard recipe is the first option but you can also consider adding:

  • 1 1/2 cups lightly packed brown sugar & 1/2 cup honey
  • molasses
  • agave
  • corn syrup
  • maple syrup
  • butterscotch syrup
  • chocolate syrup

Fat

  • Butter
  • Oil (choose an oil without a strong flavor like canola or grapeseed)

Add Ons — You can also experiment with adding other flavors but keep the ratio constant

  • Peanut butter or other nut butters
  • Nutella
  • Cocoa Powder
IMG_0140

A batch that has been cooked and is cooling before cutting into bars.

So the actually cooking process is simple. This makes approximately 16 bars:

  1. Preheat the oven to 250° and toast the dry ingredients in a pan, mixing half way through, for 10-15 minute — include the coconut if using that
  2. After toasting, pour the dry ingredients in a bowl and add the sticky/moist ingredients as well — if using chips (chocolate, etc.), freeze the chips and add them at step 4.
  3. Heat the fat and binder in a saucepan over low heat until liquid
  4. Pour fat/binder mixture into bowl with other ingredients — if adding chips, let the mixture cool again and add them right before baking.
  5. Preheat the oven to 300°. Grease the pan(s) and line with parchment paper, making sure it extends past the edges
  6. Pour the mixture into the pan(s) and press down with the button of a spatula
  7. Bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool until slightly warm to the touch
  9. Remove bars from pan by sliding knife around the edges and lifting up the parchment paper
  10. Cut into bars with the pizza cutter — if the mixture is still slightly warm, it is much easier to cut. but, if it is still hot, it will fall apart when removing from the pan so take care.

That’s it, enjoy.

Can you think of another ingredient that I haven’t mentioned? Let me know and I’ll add it.

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