OK, I know, I’m back to sweets. I wasn’t given the nickname ‘Dessert Queen’ for nothing. But these are HEALTHY, so I feel justified.
These are the granola bars that my daughter mentions in our joint Pear Muffins post. I started making them when my daughter was in High School. The granola bars that you could buy were just not cutting it for her and I thought, why not try and make them? I tried a few different recipes until I discovered this one. There is no leavening in this granola bar which I think truly makes it a granola bar and not just a cookie granola bar. They are chewy and crisp at the same time. Store very well in the freezer. And make a great to go breakfast (which my daughter and son-in-law use them for) or a mid afternoon snack pick me up (which my husband likes them for) or a super quick lunch paired with a yogurt (which I sometimes eat). My son has not entirely joined the bandwagon: he likes them fresh, right out of the oven. Oh well.
If you have 2, 9 x 13 inch pans (like I do: yikes!) you can make another batch while the first one is in the oven and be set for quite awhile. I do this because if my husband sees me making them (and we have none) and I tell him they are for Sarah and Ian, he gets grumpy. So, I make a double batch…..
Granola Bars (adapted from Allrecipes, Granola Bars III)
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and and spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with canola oil spray.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, raisins wheat germ, salt, cinnamon and pecans. Stir together with a rubber spatula and then with your hands break up any dark brown sugar clumps and break up any pecans that are too large, by twisting them in the opposite direction until they crumble. This is an important step and it’s where the ‘love’ comes in (you know how everyone says that your food tastes better when you prepare it with love). Stir together everything with your hands, somewhat sifting it between your fingers.
In a smaller bowl thoroughly combine the canola oil, honey, egg and vanilla with a whisk.
Pour liquid into dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until combined. This is also an important step. It will seem that you have a woefully small amount of liquid but if you keep on stirring and pressing the ingredients together, it will combine. This may take a few minutes.
Put mixture into prepared pan, distributing it as evenly as possible. Then using the spatula move the mixture around in the pan until the bottom of the pan is covered evenly and then press mixture into pan. This is also very important: you want a bar that you can eat out of hand not a crumbly mess.
Bake for 25 minutes. Cool completely in pan. When cool, turn pan over onto a cutting board. Cut granola bars into about 1 inch x 4 inch pieces. Store individually in snack bags. Can be frozen or refrigerated, to keep longer.
Dry ingredients all mixed:
Pressed into pan: