Chewy, wholesome, not too sweet homemade granola bars are a perfect lunch bag treat or after school snack. You can use whatever combination of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits you prefer, provided you keep the proportions the same, so feel free to adjust the recipe to suit your individual tastes.
3/4 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1/4 cup chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, or pecans)
2 tablespoons unsalted sunflower or pumpkin seeds (optional)
2 tablespoons flax seed
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup dried fruit of your choice (raisins, chopped dates, chopped
apricots, cranberries, etc)
Preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Line an 8-inch baking pan with foil that overhangs the pan on all sides by at least one inch. Lightly grease the foil and set the pan aside.
Spread the oats, nuts, and seeds on a baking sheet and bake them for about 10 minutes, or until they are lightly toasted, stirring once or twice to insure even cooking. Remove the pan from the oven and let the oat/nut mixture cool completely.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the wheat germ, flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon with a whisk until blended and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, stir the oil and brown sugar with a whisk until smooth. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture just until combined, then stir in the oat mixture and dried fruit until well combined.
Spread the mixture into the prepared baking pan evenly, pressing gently. Bake the bars until they are set, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack until the granola bars have cooled completely. Lift the slab of granola bars from the pan using the overhanging foil as handles and place on a cutting board. Cut into desired size bars.
These Homemade Granola Bars will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Yield: One 8-inch pan of granola bars
Martha McKinnon is an avid home cook and cooking instructor who loves sharing everything she has learned through her years in the kitchen with all who are interested.