Granola bars are a staple in my house. I used to buy a box or two every time I was at the grocery store because my family goes through them so quickly. When I decided to check out the ingredients list one day, I did not love what I saw. I saw a huge list of unpronounceable and unrecognizable ingredients, preservatives, corn syrup and oils that I had been trying to stay away from. You can check out the ingredients in a popular brand here.
I set out to find a healthier recipe to feed my family. I tried several different recipes until I found one that my family liked. I started with this recipe called Playgroup Granola Bars from Allrecipes.com, and then I made some healthy modifications so I could feel better about feeding these to my family. There is still more sugar in here than I would like, but I feel better knowing there is no corn syrup or dangerous oils or preservatives that I have been trying to stay away from. It feels great knowing I have carefully selected each ingredient that goes into them, and they do not contain preservatives or any unpronounceable ingredients.
Here is the recipe I currently use, and my family loves them. The great thing about granola bars is that you can customize them to your liking. Add whichever nuts, seeds, and dried fruits you like. My family loves them with chocolate chips, but you could add cranberries or raisins instead.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 Tablespoons flax seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup peanut butter (may substitute 1/4 cup coconut oil or applesauce instead)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
- In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, flax seeds, cinnamon, flour, chocolate chips and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, maple syrup, egg, vanilla, coconut oil and peanut butter (or applesauce). Mix well. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
- Bake approximately 23 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut.