Why purchase granola bars when you can make it yourself… depending on the product, you may have much more additives/GMOs then you bargain for. I usually get a pre-mixed trail mix from my local Ma Pa organic store and then add in more items.
How to Make Homemade Granola Bars
Makes 8 bars
What You Need
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup organic rice cereal, puffed millet, high-fiber cereal mix grain
- 1/2 cup chopped raw nuts, like walnuts, peanuts, almonds, sunflowers, pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 – 1 cup dried fruits like cranberries, raisins, currants, dates, or cherries
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup/raw honey
- 1 1/2 ounces wheat germ, approximately 1/2 cup
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon spices, like cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice (optional)
- 3 tablespoons raw almond butter or 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (optional for firmer bars)
You can be as creative as you may… cocoa, carob, raw peanut butter, add seeds (chia, hemp, sesame, etc.)
- Large mixing bowl
- Measuring cups
- 8″x8″ baking pan
- Parchment paper
1. Prepare for Baking: Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the middle of the oven. Line the baking pan with parchment, leaving extra parchment to hang over the sides. Lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray or butter. If desired, toast the nuts and grains for 10-15 minutes until toasted and fragrant. For softer dried fruit pieces, soak the dried fruit in very hot water for 10 minutes and drain before using.
2. Mix the Dry Ingredients: Mix the oats, cereal, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit together in a mixing bowl.
3. Warm the Rice Syrup/Raw Honey: Warm the rice syrup/honey in a small saucepan over medium heat for a few minutes. It should be just loose and liquidy enough to pour. Mix in the salt, spices (if using), and peanut butter or cocoa powder (if using).
4. Stir the Rice Syrup into the Dry Ingredients: Pour the rice syrup over the dry ingredients. Use a spatula to scrape the last of the syrup. Stir the rice syrup into the dry ingredients until the ingredients are completely coated and start to stick together in clumps.
5. Press into the Pan: Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Use wet or lightly oiled hands to firmly press the mixture into the pan.
6. Bake the Granola Bars: Bake the bars for 20-25 minutes for chewy granola bars or 25-30 minutes for crunchy bars. As soon as you remove the bars from the oven, press them again with the back of a lightly oiled spatula. (This will give you more compacted granola bars.)
7. Cool the Granola Bars: Let the bars cool completely in the pan. They will firm up as they cool. Once cooled, cut into 8 bars in the pan with a very sharp knife, then lift the bars by the flaps of parchment to remove from the pan. Store between layers of wax paper in an airtight container for up to two weeks. To make them easier to slip into back packs and lunch boxes, you can also wrap each bar individually in wax paper or plastic wrap.