Making homemade granola bars is easy, they're great-tasting, and a healthy snack you can feel good about offering your family.
3 1/2 cups old-fashioned (rolled) oats
1 cup chopped nuts (such as walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, etc.)
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal
1/3 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup creamy peanut butter (if using crunchy, increase to 1 1/4 cups)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
- Line with parchment paper, foil or grease an 11 x 17-inch jelly roll pan; set aside.
- Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).
- Combine first 4 ingredients in 13x9x2-inch baking pan, mixing well. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove and cool to room temperature.
- Place toasted mixture a large mixing bowl and add the rice cereal, ground flax seed or wheat germ, dates and/or raisins; set aside.
- Combine the brown sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until well mixed. Pour syrup mixture over granola mixture and stir until well coated. Stir in chocolate chips, if using.
- Quickly spread mixture into prepared pan, using your hands if necessary to distribute evenly. Place a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap on top and with a rolling pin, press granola mixture down firmly and evenly. Cool completely. Once cool, lift mixture from pan with the edges of the parchment or foil and cut into bars (a pizza cutter works nicely). If desired, wrap each bar individually, making them "grab and go" ready.
Makes 36 (1 1/4 x 4-inch) granola bars.
- Try other chocolate chip flavors, or omit their use altogether.
- Try any combination of dried fruits such cherries, cranberries, apricots, peaches, etc.
- Mix and match nuts, seeds and cereals to create your own style of granola bars.
- Toasting the oats, sunflower seeds, nuts and coconut increases flavor and give the bars a crisper, crunchier texture, but is not required and can be skipped altogether.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (1 bar): 241.0 calories; 34% calories from fat; 10.0g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 62.3mg sodium; 209.1mg potassium; 35.2g carbohydrates; 3.3g fiber; 17.0g sugar; 31.9g net carbs; 6.0g protein.