Granola bars are my latest breakfast. They’re also one of my children’s favorite snacks, so we go through a lot of them. I wanted to try to make some myself so I didn’t have to keep buying them all the time, and so I could make a slightly healthier alternative than the sugary processed kind. But it’s not easy to replicate the chewy texture that still sticks together as a proper granola bar. I’ve tried making them before and they either fall apart or they’re more like a dessert.
Finally I found this recipe, which has great ingredients such as whole oats, nuts, honey, and healthy add-ins like shredded coconut. It uses a little butter and sugar, which is not ideal for a totally healthy granola bar, but it helps to make it all stick together. And it does stick together.
Thanks to the blog with the great name Bless This Mess Please for the recipe (which I only slightly adjusted).
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cups total extra mix-ins (such as coconut flakes)
Preheat the oven to 350F/175C degrees. Line a 9- or 8-inch square baking dish with lightly greased parchment or foil.
Place the oats and nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly toasted. Place the nuts and oats in a large bowl.
While the oats are toasting, put the honey, butter, and brown sugar to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. When butter mixture is ready, remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
Pour this mixture over the oats and nuts and stir to combine. Add any extra ingredients and stir to combine. Make sure none of the oats are dry.
Place in prepared pan and use a rubber spatula or the back of a greased spoon to press mixture into the pan. Put in refrigerator for at least two hours, then cut into bars.
Other suggested mix-ins include dried fruit, miniature chocolate chips, and sunflower seeds, but you can play around with ingredients and add whatever you’d like.