Homemade Healthy Granola Bars

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Last week was a tough week in the kitchen.

Things just didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped.

For example, I tried to make Chicken Ropa Vieja for Travis…major fail. Soggy, watery, flavorless, chewy chicken mess. I wouldn’t eat it. You wouldn’t have either.

(Travis did. He’s a sport. We like Travis.)

And my beautiful coffee cake, the weekend before? Oh, it LOOKED good. Mmmhmmm. But how would YOU feel feel after biting into a good ‘ol piece of dense, dry coffee cake that you worked so hard on?

Super? Yeah. Not really.

(We’re going to blame it on my super finicky oven. We were battling that day).

So I guess you could say I was kinda bummed out.

But then something happened…

I think I should have called these “Miracle Granola Bars”

Wouldyaa look at that? Girls got her groove back. Hhellllllllll yaaa.

Here’s the thing: you’re going to need to make these immediately.

And I literally mean right now.

Yes, stop.

Stop, what you’re doing and get to the kitchen. C’mon get up.

No. It’s not too late.

The Modern Family episode you Tivo’d can wait.

(P.S. I totally just used Tivo as a verb. We agreed that was fine. Thanks)

Okay, so now that you’re in your kitchen (go with me here, people), it’s time to get a little bit crazy.

I’m giving you the basis of these bars (flour, oats, salt, egg, oil, etc) but you get to call the shots with the rest.

I’m talkin’ get WILD. Throw in some spices. Chop up some nuts. You like M ‘n M’s? Get ‘em in there! You want low fat? Sub some apple sauce in for the oil. What’s that? You want peanut butter granola bars? You’re a GENIUS. Mail me some.

I’m super excited about the possibilities here. Can you tell?

These babies are chewy, flavorful and pretty frickin’ awesome.

Healthy Granola Bars. Made From Scratch. From my kitchen to yours.

Make it happen.

Homemade Healthy Granola Bars 

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 t. salt

1/2 t. cinnamon

1/4 cup almonds, chopped (I used a little bit more because I wanted the added fiber)

1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil (for a lower fat version sub half the oil for unsweetened apple sauce)

1/4 cup agave nectar (or honey if that is what you have on hand)

1/2 egg, beaten (or one egg white)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or maple syrup (optional for sweeter bars)

1/3 cup dried cranberries or raisins

Preheat your oven to 350.  Grease and 8×8 or 9×9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Then, line it with parchment paper, so that the ends of the paper stick out of the pan (this will help you lift the bars out of the pan when they are done baking).

In a large bowl mix the first six ingredients (oats through almonds). In a separate bowl whisk together the oil, honey, egg, and vanilla.

Make a well at the center of the dry ingredients and slowly pour the wet ingredients into the center of the flour mixture. Stir until combined.  Then add the dried cranberries or raisins and stir until they are mixed throughout.

Press the mixture into a square at the bottom the baking dish, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edges. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. (Do not overbake)

Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes. Then, using the edges of the parchment paper, lift the square of bars up and out of the pan and onto another flat surface. While they are still warm, cut the bars into 8-10 pieces. Store in a cool place or wrap individually to grab and go!

2 Comments

  • Sam
    February 27, 2014 - 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Hi! instead of cranberries could you use chocolate chips? Also, what about almond slivers instead of halved? just some ideas!

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      February 27, 2014 - 8:48 pm | Permalink

      Sam, you could definitely do all of those things! I love these granola bars because you can adapt them however you want :)

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