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Granola Bar Shopping Tips
Stocking up on no-cook items like cheese, nuts, olives, crackers, and dips are great snacks to have on hand.
Granola Bar Cooking Tips
When preparing snacks try to avoid repetition of similar foods and flavors - aim for variety in textures, colors, and cooking methods.
We have a history with granola bars. A while back, we shared a cooking failure. The subject was granola bars. They tasted great, but fell apart. So, we sort of gave up and moved on with the thought that one day, we would be ready to give them another shot.
After two years, we’ve picked up where we left off and have now figured out how to make these simple, soft and chewy granola bars. We’re in love. They taste great, are incredibly easy to make and they absolutely do not fall apart (see our tips below).
We’ve made these many times now and every time, they’ve been just a little bit different.
Here, you see whole almonds, dried cranberries and mini chocolate chips. We’ve also used dried cherries, apricots and unsweetened coconut. We’re even thinking about adding pistachios next time. The possibilities are endless — all you need to know is the base. Oats, butter, honey and brown sugar. After that, add what you like.
Tips for making the bars
Take care to press the mixture into the pan. After a few tries, we’ve found that it’s really important to press the granola mixture into the pan. We’ve actually spent about a minute pressing before — the harder and longer you press, the less chance you’ll end up with granola instead of granola bars.
Honey and brown sugar help make a glue for the bars. The honey and brown sugar really helps with keeping the bars together. Chocolate chips added to the mixture help, too. We add some to the granola mixture while it is still warm. You might notice some of the chocolate melts — this is totally okay, it acts as extra glue, holding the bars together. After that, we add more chocolate chips to the top — these don’t melt.
Chill for two hours. Finally, we like to refrigerate the granola mixture for about 2 hours. This hardens everything and makes it easy to cut the granola mixture into bars. Right out of the refrigerator the bars will be hard since they are cold. Leave them out for an hour and they will warm to room temperature and become a little softer and chewy.
The bars keep at room temperature for about 1 week. Just make sure they are tightly covered or sealed in a container.
To begin, spread the oats, walnuts and almonds onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and toast for 7 minutes. Add the shredded coconut and toss well.
Place the pan back into the oven to cook for 4 to 5 minutes more. Keep an eye on it towards the end you want the coconut to turn golden but not burn.
In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Whisk and bring to a rapid boil, then turn off the heat and set aside.
Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce heat to 300°F. Combine the oat mixture, honey mixture, rice cereal, and dried fruit in a large bowl.
Turn the granola bar mixture out into a foil-lined baking dish.
Using a rubber spatula, spread and pat the mixture into an even layer.
Bake until lightly golden, 20 to 23 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely, 1 to 1½ hours. Use the foil overhang to transfer bars to cutting board.
Use a large, sharp knife to cut into rectangles.
Store the bars in a single layer in an airtight container for up to a week (do not stack the bars or they will stick together and fall apart).
The Best Dang Granola Bars Ever And when I say Ever, I mean EVER. Until I make another one that tops it. But for now puh-leez buh-leeev that these are IT. I&rsquove been living and breathing granola bars for about a week now, which seems like a weird obsession in lieu of the freezing cold weather that we all can&rsquot stop talking about. I maybe should have been baking bread or something, but granola bars are WHERE IT&rsquoS AT. Oh. And since we are talking about cold weather&hellip I just realized that it&rsquos been a hot minute since I updated you guys on Norma Kitty Jean. If you have no idea who Norma Jean is, just enter her name in the search bar up there. Enough crazy cat pictures to last you a lifetime. Anyway. There is this kitty who I alternately call &lsquoPorch Kitty&rsquo and &lsquoBuddy&rsquo because he is my buddy and basically lives on my porch. I think he belongs to the neighbors but we all know how that works out. Total sucker that I am, I&rsquove been feeding this guy for months, made him a little kitty shelter outside, and put old sweatshirts in the dryer for him to snuggle with on cold nights. So I started seeing weather reports last week about the freakish cold and I immediately started to worry about my Porch Kitty. Then I got a text message from my mom reading, &ldquoHope your outside kitty will be ok. &rdquo And now you guys know where I get it from. The wind started blowing and it got COLD. Fast. Chad and I were walking in the door and there was Buddy sitting on the steps. I&rsquom sure you know what happened next. So Buddy aka Porch Kitty aka Norma Jean&rsquos Worst Nightmare came in and purred and snuggled Lucy Dog on the couch while she gave me crazy eyes like, &ldquoIs this guy serious?&rdquo And the answer is yes. Yes he is so snuggle serious. It all fell apart when Norma Jean figured out there was an intruder. My girl, diva to the max that she is, HATES this cat. When he was outside she routinely tried to smack his face through the window. Inside she followed him through the house hissing and giving him the stink eye. She was appalled that I thought she should share her food. She went to hide under the bed. Buddy made the mistake of trying to be friends. Norma Jean smacked him in the face and returned to her sulking under a different bed. So that&rsquos your update. Norma hates everyone, does not like to share, and is the Queen of the World. Granola Bars are a drama-free zone. These are no-bake (well&hellip you have to toast the oats but that doesn&rsquot count), no fuss, low sugar, drizzled in dark chocolate, stuffed full of nuts and seeds and dried fruit and whatever else you can jam in there. They are awesome for a snack, perfect for breakfast on the run, will fit in your fanny pack at the gym (but please don&rsquot wear a fanny pack. please.), and are pretty much all-around awesome. REALLY the best. If you don&rsquot have lots of food stuffs on hand to put in granola bars (because maybe you all don&rsquot hoard almonds, chocolate chips, and dried cranberries like I do), I know a shortcut! Grab a bag of your favorite trail mix. All the nuts and fruits are already in there! Some of them even have M & M&rsquos. I made these granola bars for the Leftovers Club! Leftovers Club was a group of food bloggers that got together to share the inevitable leftovers that come from testing and re-testing recipes. If you are interested in tips and tricks on treats you can mail [like granola bars!] scroll past this printable recipe. 35+ Healthy Granola Bars to Fuel Your Day
These small but mighty mixes will fuel your entire day.
Whip up these easy bars for a good-for-you homemade breakfast or snack. With sweet (think cherries, chocolate chips and vanilla yogurt drizzles!) and savory (cheese, please!) options, these bars are sure to take the place of your store bought favorites.
Cut this baking sheet granola into rectangles to enjoy the nutty, oat goodness on the go.
Quinoa and chia seeds give these granola bars their red-cape supercarb status.
Preheat oven to 350. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with wax paper or parchment paper, leaving a margin of paper along the top edges of the pan. Mix the first five ingredients together. In another bowl, mix the almond extract into the lightly beaten eggs. Pour the egg mixture over the dry ingredients and mix until evenly distributed. Press mixture into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool pan on a wire rack 5 minutes. Carefully grasp the edges of the wax paper to lift the bars from the pan. Place on a cutting board and cut into 12 bars with a sharp knife. Let cool completely, then store in an airtight container.
Calories: 80 calories, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Protein: 3 g, Fat: 2.5 g, Saturated Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 15 mg, Sodium: 40 mg, Fiber: 2 g
Exchanges per serving: 1 fruit, 1/2 fat. Carbohydrate choices: 1.
This recipe was created by Sandy Bjerkness, RD, LD, a research dietitian and freelance writer from Rochester, Minnesota.
What You’ll Need To Make Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
Be sure to use quick-cooking oats, which are rolled oats that have been coarsely chopped. Regular old-fashioned oats are too coarse and chewy for this recipe and cause the bars to fall apart. If you don’t have any quick-cooking oats in your pantry, you can make your own by pulsing regular oatmeal in the food processor a few times.
The nice thing about these bars is that they’re versatile. If you don’t like chocolate chips, you can use raisins or cranberries. If you’re not a fan of almonds, you can throw in some unsalted sunflower seeds instead. Aside from the oats and Rice Krispies (those are a must), as long as you keep the ratio of wet to dry ingredients the same, you can substitute just about anything you like.
This Trick Helps Homemade Granola Stick Together
The best granolas are the ones that come in large clusters, don’t @ me. While many brands of packaged granola have extremely satisfying chunks, when you make it at home, it often crumbles into what can only be described as toasted oats. Of course it’s still edible, tasty even, but it won’t be as satisfying as biting into a big ol’ cluster. I’ll be honest: I’ve tried out a lot (a lot) of granola recipes and honestly thought those clumps were just an elusive thing that either happened or did not based on the imperceptible changes in oven temperature and/or mystical spirits in the kitchen. This is not the case. The answer is lurking in both a binding agent and in the way you lay the granola on the sheet pan.
The first element in ensuring that the oats and seeds and whatever else you put in your granola will stick to together is an ingredient that will bind the mixture together. I’ve tried mixing an egg white into the batter, and it worked alright. I tried whipping an egg white and folding that into a batch and that worked pretty well. Neither one worked really well—my results were both very delicate clusters that mostly feel apart when picked up. Less than ideal. They did, however, produce clumpier results than when I used no egg at all.
Homemade Protein Granola Bars
These bars are soft and chewy just like a granola bar should be, and as the name implies, they’re packed with protein. In other words, this granola bar is the breakfast or snack of every real foodie’s dreams.
Wait! I’m not the only one who dreams about granola bars, right?
Piper started soccer a few weeks ago which means early mornings, quick breakfasts, and lots of snacks. If your kids have ever played a team sport, then I’m sure you can relate.
I don’t want to sound judgmental in anyway, but the snacks offered to the hard-working soccer players are not exactly ideal, in my humble opinion. Hard physical work requires nutrients, and bags of processed snacks just aren’t going to help fuel little bodies.
I knew before we started soccer that snacks might be an issue, so I decided to get to work in my test kitchen. While fruit was definitely on the Saturday morning post-soccer menu, I knew something that mimicked processed snacks without the empty fake ingredients was needed to win over a whole soccer team. The answer? Homemade granola bars!
A couple of years ago, Candice shared a delicious recipe for no-bake granola bars here on Live Simply. The no-bake bars are perfect for a sweet dessert-like snack, but they don’t hold up very well for travel, let alone a hot soccer field. While I love her recipe, it simply wouldn’t work for soccer.
I decided a naturally-sweet baked recipe was the best choice. A bar that can handle the heat and fill hungry little bellies. After a couple of kitchen experiments Homemade Protein Granola Bars were created. Brace yourself, my friend, they’re amazing. Seriously, so good. Chewy and slightly crunchy. Sweet and salty. Perfection. We’ve already been over this, so I’ll move on. I know you’re hungry.
There are a few steps required to make homemade granola bars, but the good news is this recipe makes twelve hearty bars so your time is well-spent. I like to freeze half the bars so they stay fresh and keep the other half on the counter.
Best Granola Bar Recipes - Recipes
Could it be I finally made granola bars that stuck together?
I’ve tried to make homemade granola bars several times. But I couldn’t get them to form into bars, and was left with …well, granola. I used the oat mixture to top my Greek yogurt for months instead. Over the weekend, I thought I’d found the recipe that finally held the oats, chocolate chips and nuts in bar form. Most of the bars held together once wrapped in plastic wrap, but they were still crumbly.
Finally, this morning, I figured out what I was missing: dates. DATES, y’all.
They’re in most recipes, like this one, that I’ve found for granola bars for a reason. The sticky, sweet fruit is the perfect edible glue. I had been omitting it from my granola bars because of sheer laziness. I thought peanut butter and honey would be enough of an adhesive. Nope, I needed dates. And we had dates here in the cupboard all. This. Time.
I made 9 solid but chewy bars this morning for breakfast, proud and relieved that I’d finally cracked the granola bar code. Now, I only have 6 bars left.
Therein lie a different problem: enjoying too many granola bars at once.
*If desired, you can toast oats on a baking sheet at 350 degrees before using. It adds flavor, but it’s not necessary.
Place dates in a food processor and chop into small bits. You want to make a paste from the dates. Remove from food processor and place in large bowl. Add oats, pecans and almonds in bowl. Melt honey and almond butter together in a small bowl or saucepan until warm (I popped mine in the microwave for about 30 seconds), mix well with spoon, then add to large bowl. Add chia seeds and chocolate chips. Mix until well combined. Butter an 8 pan, or line it with parchment paper. Scoop out the granola mixture onto the pan and smooth out to uniform rectangle shape of about 1 inch thickness or so. Place in refrigerator for about 10 minutes to help set. Remove, and cut into bars. Enjoy!
The Minimalist Baker also knows how to do granola bars right. I followed their base, then added my own flair.