If you're like me and you find yourself spending too much money on granola bars, I found a fantastic recipe for making some from scratch. This recipe is so easy to make, you may even find you already have the ingredients at home. I had to pick up a few items as I wanted specific flavors in my granola bars.
The results: My bars turned out a little crumbly around the edges (especially when I started scooping them out of the pan) and I think I could have used more water in my batch. I did use a few tablespoons of water to make it sticky but I was afraid of adding too much. Next time I'd definitely use more as there shouldn't be any dry crumbs in the batch. However, despite some crumbs the bars tastes so delicious! The honey and peanut butter mixture blend well together. I could have added some mini chocolate chips but I'm finding these bars are light but chewy with a subtle sweetness and have a crunch from the walnuts.
1 cup maple syrup or honey (I used this honey)
2/3 cup chunky natural peanut butter (I used creamy natural peanut butter)
2 2/3 cups rolled oats (I used quick cooking rolled oats)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 cups mix-ins in any combination of the following: coconut, raisins, chocolate or carob chips, unsalted nuts, any finely chopped dried fruit such as dates, apricots, apples, etc. (I used 1 cup organic coconut and 1 cup chopped walnuts)
Mix syrup and peanut butter until well blended. Stir in oats, flour, wheat germ, spices, and mix-ins. (I preferred to mix with my hands)
If mixture seems too dry, add water 1 teaspoon at a time.
If it is too sticky, add oats 1 teaspoon at a time.
Mixture should be slightly sticky, but still easily spread in a pan with greased fingers.
Press into a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 centimeter) pan lightly greased. Bake at 350F/180C until barely browned. (I baked for about 15 minutes) Do not overbake! Cut while warm into desired sized bars.
When completely cool, remove from pan with a greased spatula. Wrap each bar separately in plastic wrap and then store in a zip bag or air tight container. These freeze extremely well.
Makes about 2 dozen bars.