Granola bars have always been a staple at our house. We had our favorite brands, and always had them on hand at home and on the go. When my daughter was first diagnosed with a milk allergy, I didn’t know what I was going to do because there was a milk warning on all of our granola bar labels and most of the ones at the store. We weren’t about to give up our granola bars so easily, so I began the search for a simple and tasty granola bar recipe. I did find one, but I have altered it so many times that it’s no where near the recipe I started with. These bars are so good that unless we are in a bind, I never buy the pre-made ones in the store any more. They also have to be much healthier for us since they don’t have all the preservatives to prolong the shelf life.
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cup oat bran
- 1/3 cup flax meal
- 1 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 cup slivered almonds, crushed
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup honey
- ¾ cup almond butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp Sea salt
- approximately 8 oz. dried fruit – craisins are great!
First, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. This is to toast the dry ingredients before mixing in the wet. I like to pulse the oats and the slivered almonds in a food processor.
Mix the oats, oat bran, flax-seed meal, sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, and coconuts in a 9×13 inch pan. Then toast in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. This can be done while you are cooking the ‘sauce’.
In a heavy sauce pan, mix together the brown sugar, honey, almond butter, vanilla, and salt. Cook on medium heat until melted and smooth. Once the sauce starts bubbling (not boiling), cook for no more than 5 minutes. You’ll want to stir this constantly in order to prevent burning. Remove from heat before continuing. Warning – if you over cook the sauce the granola bars will become hard and very difficult to eat. If you undercook the sauce they will not hold together very well.
Once the sauce is done, take the oat mixture out of the oven and pour into a large bowl. Stir in the craisins. Pour in the sauce and stir until everything is thoroughly coated.
Spread out onto a jelly roll pan lined with wax paper. Cover with more wax paper and squish the mixture evenly into the pan. Then, use a rolling-pin to really get the mixture compacted together.
After it has cooled, approximately 1-2 hours, invert onto the counter and cut into bars. I typically get 36-40 bars.
You can either wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap, or layer between wax paper in an air tight container to prevent sticking. I like to wrap our so they are easy to grab on our way out the door.
This recipe can easily be cut in half to be made in a 9×13 inch pan. As with most things, my daughter loves to help me make these, and she loves to eat them! 🙂 I love knowing that I am able to make and provide healthy options for my family!