in an effort to save some money, i have started to make my own granola bars and larabars. i have experimented with granola bars a lot and have several distinct types that i like to eat.
crunchy- like those nature valley granola bars.
chewy/sticky- more like power bars or clif bars.
chewy/soft- these! these are almost like granola bar cookies or if you have had the house made whole foods granola bars.
i baked these last night and ate one (two actual) very large bar for breakfast crumbled over some (homemade) yogurt and chopped apples. very tasty and made the morning at work go by a little faster.
chewy granola bars
adapted from smitten kitchen
these are very, very adaptable. change out the spices, leave out the spices, mix up the fruits and nuts, add a bit of cocoa powder, use different sweeteners, etc.
2 cup quick oats (i just pulsed some regular rolled oats in the blender until they were chopped up)
a bit less than 1/4 c turbinado sugar (you can always add more, but i prefer things less sweet and may even leave it out completely next time and just increase the liquid sweetener)
1/3 cup oat bran
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2-3 cups of dried fruits and nuts of your choice (i used pretty much any and all of the dried fruit i had: golden raisins, dark raisins, cranberries, chopped prunes, chopped almonds. if you think about it more than i did, i am sure you could come up with some tasty combinations. i am thinking that my next batch might have chopped dates, candied ginger, sesame seeds and coconut.)
1/3 cup nut butter of your choice (i used almond butter)
1 tsp vanilla
4-5 tbsp coconut oil or butter
1/4 cup or more maple syrup (you can use agave or honey also)
1 tbsp(ish) water
preheat your oven to 350. line a 8″x8″x2″ pan with parchment or foil to make a sling and grease. mix together oats, sugar, bran, salt. spices, and fruits/nuts mixture. in a small saucepan over low heat, melt the coconut oil or butter and add the nut butter, maple syrup, and water and stir until well combined. take off the heat and stir in the vanilla. pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and stir well. press this evenly into the prepared pan and bake 30-40 minutes. cool in the pan for 10 minutes and lift the granola bars out of the pan using the sling and let them cool completely on a rack. these cut much more evenly when they are completely cooled or even cold. cut into bars and store in an airtight container.