Healthy Granola Bar Recipe

Granola Bars

Homemade granola bars are a healthy treat to have on hand. But sometimes granola bars can crumble so I searched for a recipe that prevents that. The recipe I settled on is from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.
They have a specific tip to avoid crumbling granola.

  • “Press firmly on the mixture, melding all of the ingredients together. You can do this with a square pan: lightly spray the bottom of it with oil spray, and use the bottom of the pan to firmly press the granola into the pan. Be sure to allow the granola bars to cool for 15 minutes before cutting. If any of the bars should fall apart during cutting, just press them back together, and as they cool they will firm up and stick together.”
  • When I made my bars, I did get a little crumbling as I removed them from the pan but I just put those crumbs in a plastic container and I use them as sprinkles on my Homemade Crock Pot Applesauce. Those of you who eat yogurt would love them on that. I then wrapped the individual bars in plastic wrap and they are ready to grab as I head out the door if I want a portable treat. The nice thing about granola bars is you can vary the recipe with some of your favorite ingredients.

    Here is The Testbook Kitchen’s basic Granola Bar Recipe with 2 added variations which are included in their cookbook.

  • One with dried cranberries and ginger.
  • And one with Coconut and sesame seeds.
  • Because I like my granola bars chock full of ingredients, I added all the ingredients for the 2 variations above. =) AND I sprinkled some Organic Cacao Nibs on top of half the pan. Yummy! I also added some chia seeds but you could also add Flax seeds for added nutrients.
    Here is the recipe with my own comments included in {brackets}.
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    Granola Bars

    Makes about 36 bars
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes plus cooling time.
    Quick-cooking oats cannot be substituted for the old fashioned oats here because their texture becomes too sandy when toasted.

    Ingredients

    • 7 cups old fashioned rolled oats(see note above)
    • 1/2 cup oil { I use canola }
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 cup honey {I used maple syrup}
    • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar {I used 1/2 cup maple syrup}
    • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1 1/2 cups whole almonds, pecans, peanuts, or walnuts chopped coarse.

    Directions

      1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss the oats, oil and salt together in a large bowl, then spread out over a baking sheet and bake, stirring often, until pale gold, 20-25 minutes.

      2. Meanwhile, cook the honey and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently until the sugar is fully dissolved, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and cinnamon and set aside. {If only using maple syrup, warm up the syrup then add the vanilla and cinnamon.}

      3. Remove the oats from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees. Transfer the baked oats to a large bowl and toss with the honey mixture until evenly coated. Stir in the nuts.

      4. Line a 12 X 18-inch baking sheet with foil, then coat lightly with oil spray. Spread the oat mixture out on the prepared pan, then pack tightly into an even layer using a wet metal spatula. Bake until golden, 35-40 minutes.

      5. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then cut into 2 by 3-inch bars in the pan. Let cool completely before removing from the pan.

    Variations
    Granola bars with dried cranberries and ginger
    Microwave 1 cup dried cranberries with 1/2 cup water until softened, about 4 minutes, then drain and pat dry. Stir the softened cranberries and 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger into the oat mixture with the nuts in step 3.

    Granola bars with coconut and sesame
    Stir 1/2 cup sesame seeds and 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut into the oat mixture with the nuts in step 3.

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    Get adventurous and give this basic recipe a try. Let me know how you did by leaving a comment here below. And if you like it Pin it!

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