Since our household consists of two working parents and two young kids we are constantly grabbing something to eat as we head out the door. I try to make sure that the choices we have in our house are the healthiest possible, but reading some of those labels can be a scary proposition.
Granola bars seem like a good choice, but there are so many additives and preservatives needed to make those types of foods shelf-stable that it makes my head swim. And then there’s the unnecessarily high amount of sodium and sugar to take into account.
I’ve seen recipe after recipe for homemade granola bars and wanted to try making them myself for months. When I stumbled across some locally harvested honey a few weeks ago at a nearby market I was finally inspired enough to give the granola bars a whirl. Surprisingly everything I’d read about homemade granola bars was true – they really and truly are easy, and remarkably delicious.
It’s a super simple one bowl operation, just a few stirs, spread them out in the pan, then into the oven. I’ve already made several batches of them – they’ve become a staple in our house. They’re filled with such nutritious ingredients that I never say no when the kids ask for a second one. I just pat myself on the back and hand it over to them. Seriously, if you’d told me that I could get my children to beg for something I made from oats, wheat germ, whole wheat flour, and flaxseed meal I would have never, ever believed you. But that’s exactly what happened. And each time we polish off a batch of these my husband asks if I’m planning to make some more. I love it! And I love these bars! Even if you don’t care about the nutritional value, you will love these addicting little bars. You should make some soon!
An simple homemade granola bar recipe full of nutritious ingredients. I've never met a kid who didn't love these bars! Try topping them with melted chocolate for a special treat.
- 2 cups rolled oats (I use old fashioned oats)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 1/4 cup flaxseed meal (such as Bob's Red Mill)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/2 - 3/4 cups honey**
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
- optional - 1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit or nuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 9x13 metal baking pan.
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Make a well in the center and add the liquid ingredients.
- Mix well using your hands - this is great for kids who want to help. (I find that the mixture sticks to my hands less if I coat them with a little bit of cooking spray first.)
- Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan still using your hands.
- Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, until the bars begin to brown at the edges and pull away from the pan slightly.
- Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then using a sharp knife cut into 12 bars. Don't let it cool completely or you won't be able to cut them. (If you find that yours cooled a little too much, don't worry - you can just break them up into pieces instead.)
- For a special treat you can drizzle them with melted chocolate if desired.