Homemade Granola Bars

February 24, 2014

One of the things that’s been wonderful to have on hand are these very tasty homemade granola bars that my sister-in-law made and brought down after we had our baby. She said they were her favorite snack to have on hand while nursing since you need something quick with a good calorie punch that can provide you that extra energy you need. Those of you who are or breastfeeding or have had in the past probably know that before you realize it, you are famished. Since I was introduced to these, I’ve made them every week and they are a staple in our home! My husband, who is a letter carrier, is also in love with these because they give him the calorie punch he needs while he’s out walking seven miles per day delivering mail!

Don’t be intimidated by the amount of ingredients! I was at first, until I realized making the granola bars is so easy and it’s not as time consuming as you may think. What helps is that I pre-measure all the ingredients which makes it go even faster.  You can even get as creative as you want and once you start making these, I guarantee you will want to experiment with other ingredients! The recipe is from Dinner: A Love Story and I’ve slightly adapted it.  I love the taste of these so much but I think I might try to incorporate dried fruit in one of these batches….

I’m recommending organic peanut butter. (Or any organic nut butter of your choice!)  This is because the first batch I made, I used Skippy peanut butter. No offense to Skippy, but the granola bars were TOO peanut buttery and honestly…they just tasted fake. So the next round I used organic peanut butter and that made all the difference…it wasn’t so overwhelmingly peanut buttery.

Ingredients_granolaSyrup_granola (1)Ready_granolaphoto(5)

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 3/4 Cup organic peanut butter
  • 1/2 Cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons local honey
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 1/2 Cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 Cups raw sliced almonds
  • 1/2 Cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 Cup semisweet chocolate chip morsels
  • 1/2 Cup oat bran
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cinamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon coarse sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Line a 9 X 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Leave some extra on the edges so that you can pull the granola bar sheet out when finished.
  2. In a large saucepan on medium heat, combine the butter, nut butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract, honey and water.  Cook and stir frequently until a uniform syrup is formed. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the oats, almonds, coconut, chocolate chips, oat bran and cinnamon.  Stir well.
  4. Transfer the (very) thick mixture into the prepared pan and press evenly using your fingers or a spatula. Top with the coarse sea salt.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the edges are slightly brown.  Make sure to cool COMPLETELY before slicing and enjoying so that the granola bars don’t fall apart!

Hope you love these as much as I do!

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