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homemade healthy granola bar recipe

Homemade Healthy Granola Bar Recipe - (No high fructose corn syrup in these bars!)

Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Author Emily Chapelle @ Joyful Abode

Ingredients

  • 2 cups oats
  • 3/4 cup wheat germ
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup peanuts crushed
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • oz approximately 8 . dried fruit

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. To crush your peanuts, put them in a plastic bag and smash them with a heavy mallet, measuring cup, or sauce pan.
  3. Then, mix the peanuts, oats, wheat germ, and sunflower seeds in a baking dish with sides. Toast them in the oven for 10-12 minutes, stirring every few minutes so that they don't get burned.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare a glass baking dish (about 11 x 13 inches) for your granola by lining it with parchment paper.
  5. Put the brown sugar, honey, butter, vanilla, and salt into a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.
  6. By now, your grains and nuts should be toasted, so mix everything together in a large bowl. The grains, the liquid "glue," and the dried fruit. Oh, and turn off your oven, because you're finished with it now.
  7. Mix everything REALLY WELL because you want to make sure the "glue" gets all over everything. Now, dump your granola mixture into your prepared baking dish.
  8. Spread out the mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula. Now fold over the sides of the parchment paper or add a sheet on top, and PRESS HARD all over the granola. You want to compress it together so that your bars won't fall apart when you cut them.
  9. Wait 2-3 hours or until the granola has totally cooled.
  10. Then, open the paper and carefully turn the granola onto a large cutting board, peeling away the rest of the paper.
  11. Firmly pressing down with a big knife (not sawing), cut your granola into whatever size bars you'd like.
  12. I wrapped ours individually in plastic wrap, so that we could just throw one into our bag or lunch box in the morning. If you'd like to save on packaging though, you can store yours in an airtight container, between sheets of parchment paper (so they don't stick together).
  13. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Of course, you can mix up the recipe. I used peanuts because they're what we had, but next time I'm going to make the granola nutless at first, but during the pressing-down part, I plan to press almonds into the top of the bars.
Another combo that would be fun to try is macadamia nuts, dried pineapple, and coconut flakes.
Or try dried cranberries, walnuts, and white chocolate chips (just a few).
I also plan to add flax seed to my granola mix.
Different flavors of honey would also probably change the final outcome too. Mmm...
So many options! Good thing we have time!