Okay. I’m not saying this lightly.
This is the best recipe I have posted on the blog to date. Not only that… it’s one of the best recipes I’ve ever come up with. And it’s full of ingredients that are good for your body and your soul.
Homemade Granola Bars
makes 12 bars
- 3 cups oats
- 1 cup oat flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1 cup dried fruit (I used a combination of strawberries, blueberries and cherries)
- 1 cup nuts (I used walnuts)
- 2/3 – 3/4 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Spray a 9×12 pan with nonstick baking spray.
Cream honey, butter and vanilla.
Add almond butter and cream again. (This would be a good time to put away the electric mixer.)
Add oats, oat flour, salt and brown sugar. Mix (preferably with a wooden spoon) until thoroughly combined.
Add dried fruit, chocolate chips and nuts. Mix again until evenly distributed.
Press the mixture into the pan, spreading it out evenly to the edges.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Let cool on counter for about 30 minutes, then cut into 12 bars but do not remove from pan. Cool in refrigerator for a few hours.
Once cooled, re-slice and remove bars from pan. Keep in an airtight container or wrap individually in plastic wrap.
These make for a perfect afternoon snack. The whole grain carbohydrates will give you energy, the healthy fats will keep you full until dinner, and they will satisfy your sweet tooth without packing even a morsel of refined white sugar or any ingredients you couldn’t pronounce. All whole foods.
(Note: pay attention to the ingredient lists on items like almond butter, dried fruit and chocolate chips. Find versions of those items that don’t have scary ingredient lists! They do exist – they’re the ones I use.)
Use walnuts as your nuts, as I did, and you’ve got some solid omega-3 fats.
And, hey, you can even use dark chocolate chips and boast about the antioxidants.
Last, but certainly not least: they’re incredibly easy to make.
They were taste-tested by my co-workers and got fantastic reviews. To be honest, though, I am my own toughest critic in the kitchen – and I think they’re awesome.
I’m not going to lie. I’m really proud of these guys.
You’re welcome. 😉