Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Granola Bars

When I was a kid, I loved granola bars - especially the ones with chocolate chips in them.  I think I liked them so much because they were the closest thing to candy bars I was allowed to have on a regular basis!  While you may be able to find some great deals on granola bars with sales and coupons, I enjoy making my own granola bars because I can control what goes into them, as well as play around with the recipe to come up with various flavor combinations.  I like having them on hand for snacks and they're easy to wrap up and take with us.  I have to thank my sister-in-law, Kristin, who introduced me to this recipe.  The original recipe can be found here on AllRecipes.

Granola Bars
2 cups oatmeal
1/2 to 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ*
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9x13 baking pan and set aside.

Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients; pour wet ingredients into well.

This is the Measure All Cup by The Pampered Chef and it's the easiest way to measure thick and/or sticky ingredients such as honey, shortening, or peanut butter.

Mix until combined, then spread into the prepared pan.  Using your hands,  press it evenly over the bottom of the pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until they begin to turn brown around the edges.  Cut bars while still warm.  Store in an air-tight container or zip-top bag.

I made two different kinds.  One had dried cranberries, and the other had chopped almonds and mini chocolate chips mixed in and melted chocolate drizzled on top.

Variations - Instead of raisins, you can use any of the following:
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (plus some chocolate chips, of course!)
  • Nuts
  • Dried Fruits (apples, bananas, cherries, blueberries, etc.)
  • Pretty much anything your heart desires!
*Wheat germ can be found in the natural/health foods section of your grocery store or at natural foods stores such as Whole Foods.  While I generally don't shop at Whole Foods because of their prices, "specialty" health items are often actually cheaper there than at typical grocery stores, because they sell a lot more of those products and can therefore offer lower prices.


Unknown said...

I get wheat germ in the bulk food section of winco! LOVE WINCO!! :)

Kristin said...

I am finally catching up on your blog, ladies! :)...and LOVING all the tips!!! Have you tried freezing the granola bars? Just wondering...I, too, am trying to "simplify" lunch making. I know that I am home...but school keeps me going super busy and lunch just seems to come too quick!

Kimiko said...

I have not tried freezing the granola bars, but was thinking about it the other day. I might have to try it and let you know (or, if you try it, let me know!). :) And, yes, the lunch "packing" tips are definitely applicable to those of us who are at home all day too! Especially those with 6 hungry mouths (plus your own!) to feed! :)

Brigitte said...

I cant eat egg, so i tried it without. I did the flax seed substitute. 1 TBS flax/ 3 TBS water beat together. I was happy to find out, it worked wonderfully! And I also left out the wheat germ since I didnt have any. But they turned out great! Im so thankful you shared this!

Kimiko said...

Brigitte, I'm so glad it worked out for you! Maybe we'll have to try more recipes for people with diet'll be fun to experiment a bit! :)

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