From this moment on I swear never to purchase another overpriced box of cardboard-like granola bars.
Granola bars have been my staple mid-morning snack since day 1 of kindergarten. Usually the “Chewy” bar variety, but over the years I’ve tried every type of granola and fruit bars out there from Nutri-Grain to Nature Valley to Kashi.
And for the past 20 years of my life I can safely say that my opinions on the bars are un-enthused. I have always eaten them simply as a source of energy — a pit stop along the way to lunch to keep me going so I wouldn’t eat the sleeve of my shirt.
To put it bluntly, I’ve never loved them. (But obviously have been too lazy to come up with any other mid-morning snack options.)
So I took a stand for myself. After writing to numerous granola bar companies this past year complaining of stale and/or rock hard bars that I received in countless boxes I’ve purchased, I’ve vowed to myself to just simply not buy them any longer. The ones that are labeled organic or healthy ring up at almost four dollars per box. Why, I thought, was I throwing away nearly five dollars a week for an item I don’t even like when I could simply make my own.
So I did some searching and surveyed my options. I wanted a homemade granola bar that was easy to make, easy to store, and healthy — meaning it had to have no added sugars and top off the calorie count at around 100 calories per serving — similar to the calorie count of the cardboard granola bars I was eating before.
And voila! I hit the jackpot with this recipe from Kath Eats Real Food. Easy, portable, healthy, and also versatile! Done.
Homemade Oatmeal Granola Bars
- 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup peanuts (or any nuts/combo of nuts you prefer)
- 1/2 cup dried fruit (I used a combo of raisins, craisins, and apricots)
- 1/4 cup seeds (I used a combo of sunflower and flax seeds)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tsp pure vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix the oats, nuts, fruit, seeds, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.
- In another bowl, whisk together the milk, water, egg, and vanilla.
- Pour wet into dry. Stir gently to combine.
- Pour into a 9×9 baking dish either coated in cooking spray or lined with parchment. (I used the Perfect Brownie Pan, which I love for this recipe because it automatically portions these bars into 18 servings.)
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Cut into 9 or 18 squares.
- Let cool completely. Wrap individually and store at room temperature for 3-4 days, or store in the freezer.
My Two Cents
I’m so excited about this recipe. These taste wonderful — no more cardboard or stale granola bars for me
If you cut these into 9 servings, the calorie count rounds out to about 170 per bar. I however cut them into 18, which I think is actually a better size for mid-morning snacking, and those come out to about 85 calories per serving. However, if you’re looking for a quick grab-and-go breakfast, the larger serving is more ideal.
There’s no added sugar to this, which I fully endorse, but if your taste buds need something a little sweeter, try adding 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar or maple syrup to the mix.
These do not come out like crunchy granola bars — they’re soft — which is also my preference!
The options are also endless. Try subbing in chocolate chips instead of the dried fruit, or if you wanted fresh fruit — how about some blueberries?
Enjoy! Have fun with it!