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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Homemade Granola Bars

I've been eating some high fiber granola bars lately because I was shocked to see how little fiber I was actually getting in my diet. But looking at the ingredients list in my bars I saw far too many unknown chemicals. So, I wondered, could I make some homemade chewy granola bars that only included things with which I would normally cook?

My first attempt was using Ina Garten's granola bar recipe. It was very tasty but more crisp than I wanted. I was looking for something that was chewy not the type of bars that tend to fracture molars or chip bicuspids. I went back to the drawing board. Looking at Ina's recipe I spotted a couple changes that I could make that might give me my chewy bars.

First, I reduced the amount of brown sugar called for in the recipe and subbed a little light corn syrup. I reduced the cooking time of the sweet mixture so that they wouldn't form a "hard candy" type glue. I then adjusted down the amount of dry ingredients slightly. The result was just was I was searching for - a chewy granola bar that is hard to resist. In fact, they're so hard to resist that Michael has cleaned about half of them out this morning!

I chose a bulk granola from Sprout's Market which is a local natural food market. I liked the almond and whole grain granola they have in the bulk section. If you don't have access to a natural foods market you can always use old fashioned oats and other whole grains. I also chose some wheat bran to increase the fiber content of my bars to 4.1 grams per serving. That's about 16% of your daily fiber needs! If you want to boost that more, just up the wheat bran amount in your bars.

These are very tasty and the basic recipe can be adjusted to your personal tastes. Don't  like the peanuts? Choose dried fruits instead. Cherries, apricots, mango and pineapple are all really great in this granola bar.

: Homemade Granola Bars
: Chewy and delicious with wheat bran for fiber and nuts for protein!

  • 2 cups almond granola
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup no salt roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 3 tbs. unsalted butter (plus extra for pan)
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbs. light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

  1. Preheat oven to 300°. Grease an 8x8-inch pan with butter and line bottom with a parchment sling that overhangs by 2 inches.
  2. In large bowl combine the granola, oats, peanuts, and coconut.
  3. In small saucepan over medium-low heat combine honey, brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Heat just until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over granola mixture. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
  4. Mix together all ingredients with spatula until thoroughly coated. Press into prepared pan with wet fingers until tightly packed.
  5. Bake at 300° for 25-30 minutes or until edges are brown and top of granola is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool 2-3 hours on wire rack. Remove from pan using parchment sling and cut into 12 pieces.

I chose a bulk granola containing almonds and whole grains available at a local health food store. You can use any type of granola cereal in this recipe (just note that some are higher or lower in calories, fat and sugars!)

If you want to forgo the prepackaged granola, you could use oats or other whole grain cereals.

I chose wheat bran to increase the fiber content of the bars, however, wheat germ would work or you could leave it out entirely if you aren't worried about fiber in your diet.

You can substitute any type of dried fruit or nuts for the peanuts. Great combinations with the coconut are cherries, mango, apricot, orange, or pineapple. 

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 25 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 12
Culinary tradition: USA (General)
Calories: 267
Fat: 9.5
Protein: 5.0

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