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School is almost in session for everyone. If your kids are like mine, they love granola bars. I decided to give making my own a try. I could not find a recipe that I liked, so I made up my own from what I saw the other recipes were made of and what I had on hand. They turned out great! And the best thing is...they have a lot of healthy ingredients and since my kids helped me make them, they were much more willing to eat them, too. Give them a try and let me know what you think!
What You Need:
- 3/4 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1/8 - ish tsp Nutmeg (depending on how strong of a nutmeg flavor you want)
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup Honey
- 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 2 cups Rolled Oats - Measure and then blend
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup Wheat Germ
- 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 1/4 cup Applesauce
- 1/4 cup Craisins
- 3/4 cups chopped Nuts (I used 1/4 cup Pecans, 1/2 cup Nut Mix (Pumpkin, Sunflower, Pine Nut, Almond)
- 1/2 - 3/4 cups Milk Chocolate Chips (or White Chocolate Chips or a mix of both!)
- 2 large bowls
- Mixing spoon
- 9x13 pan
- Wax paper
Step 1: Mix dry ingredients together (oats, flour, salt, wheat germ, sugar, nuts, dried fruit). I mixed them all up and threw them into the blender/food processor to get a nice even blend. The less texture, the less questions I have about what is in it or phrases like "I don't like it"!
Step 2: Mix liquid and Spices together. I like to taste it here (before I add the egg) and add more cinnamon or nutmeg to see if it is what I like.
Step 3: Mix liquid and dry ingredients together until evenly mixed. The mix should be sticky, not too dry, but not sticky enough that tons get stuck to your hand when you touch it.
Step 4: Toss in Chocolate Chips and quickly mix. The milk chocolate chips will melt if mixed up too much.
Step 5: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cooking spray into a 9x13 pan and then lay wax paper in the pan. The spray will hold the wax paper down and the wax paper will let you get the bars out easier once cooked.
Step 6: Press the mix into the pan. I found it was easier if I sprayed my hand with a little cooking spray. Then the mix did not get stuck to my hand and I could press it easier.
Step 7: Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
Step 8: Remove from oven and let the pan cool completely. Slice into mini granola bars store in a sealable plastic bag. Ours never last long enough to freeze, but plan on freezing if you are not going to eat them quickly.
***Note: The nuts make a huge taste difference. I thought these tasted amazingly better with pecans than when I made them with walnuts...but that is just me!