If your family is anything like ours, you go through granola bars pretty quickly. Especially when we are traveling or packing lunches or school snacks. They are just such an easy thing to throw into the kids bags or my purse. And if you’re like me, you also hate paying upwards of $4 – $5 per box of 8 bars for the healthier ones. With 4 kids, those 8 little granola bars go fast!
This year, before we went a 2 week RV trip out to South Dakota and Colorado, I wanted to find some better “easy snacks” to bring with us. This homemade granola bar recipe was perfect. They were nice and chewy without falling apart or being too messy, and we got to put in whatever ingredients we wanted which was fun.
For our at-home use and for camping trips I add in lots of different dried fruits (apricots, cranberries, raisins, dates, blueberries, etc), different types of chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, etc.), flax seed or wheat germ (shhhhh…. my kids didn’t even notice at all) and even a little chocolate or extra coconut. For school snacks we just omit the nuts. The point is, just be creative and have fun with it!
These store great in any airtight container in the pantry. I just put each different type of bar into a large tupperware. I made 3 batches at one time and they lasted at least 2 months in the pantry. They probably would’ve lasted longer, but we ate them all by then. 🙂
This recipe is from Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa
Homemade Chewy Granola Bars
Prep- 25 min Cook- 40 mins Makes- 15 to 18 bars
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.
Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries (or any other dried fruit) and stir well.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.