Easy Homemade Granola Bars

August 5, 2011 at 3:03 pm 18 comments

The problem with store bought granola bars, is that even the “healthy” ones tend to have a lot of ingredients that are bad for you.

High-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, vegetable oil, corn syrup. Not to mention all the artificial flavors, colors, and a whole list of scientific sounding ingredients.

Example. Here is the list of ingredients for the Special K Bar – Chocolatey Pretzel:

CEREAL (RICE, SUGAR, WHOLE GRAIN WHEAT, WHEAT GLUTEN, DEFATTED WHEAT GERM, SALT, WHEAT FLOUR, MALT FLAVORING, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, MALTODEXTRIN, THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], NIACINAMIDE, RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], REDUCED IRON, FOLIC ACID), SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, SUGAR, PRETZEL PIECES (ENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR [FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE (VITAMIN B1), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), FOLIC ACID], MALT FLAVORING, SALT, SOYBEAN OIL, YEAST), VEGETABLE OIL (HYDROGENATED AND/OR PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED PALM KERNEL, PALM AND/OR COCONUT OIL, SUNFLOWER OIL WITH TOCOPHEROLS FOR FRESHNESS)†, FRUCTOSE, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, CONTAINS TWO PERCENT OR LESS OF COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, SORBITOL, GLYCERIN, WHEY, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL CHOCOLATE CREAM FLAVOR, SALT, SOY LECITHIN, CARAMEL COLOR, MALTODEXTRIN, POLYSORBATE 60, SORBITAN MONOSTEARATE, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, NIACINAMIDE, SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, ALMOND FLOUR, PARTIALLY DEFATTED PEANUT FLOUR, BHT (PRESERVATIVE), PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6).
Does anyone know what polysorbate 60 and niacinamide are? My spell check doesn’t even recognize these as actual words.

Before you buy a food product and get drawn into healthy proclamations on the cover of the box (Now with fiber! Mineral D Added! A source of whole grains! LOW FAT! LOW CARB!! ZERO CALORIES!!!), I would simply say, turn the box over and…

read the ingredients.

My philosophy: If you don’t know what the ingredients listed are, don’t buy it. Also, if the product contains a huge number of ingredients (such as the above example), don’t buy it. It’s as easy as that.

Back to granola bars, they’re delicious right? I mean, who doesn’t like granola bars? If they’re made with healthy, natural ingredients, they can be a great snack when you need a boost of energy. Now, regardless of the ingredients, they’re not something you’re going to want to eat every day, but they’re a nice treat occasionally. Especially post work-out, playing sports, etc.

I really wanted to try out a healthy, but easy granola bar recipe, and I finally found one that fit the bill!

This recipe is from Heavenly Homemakers. It’s a great food/family blog if you haven’t seen it before. I love the recipes!

These granola bars are not crispy like some, but chewy and delicious. And did I mention there’s no baking involved?

This recipe makes about 8 bars, but it depends on what size you cut the bars into.

The mixture after being refrigerated for an hour.

 

Cut up into bars.

 

Wrapped up and ready to go!

Homemade Granola Bars

  • 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil (or any other oil, but seriously, the coconut oil in this gives it awesome flavor)
  • 1 c. oats
  • 1 c. mixture of  nuts, seeds, dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc. of your choice (use whatever mixture you want, but it should be a total of 1 cup)
  1. Add peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil to a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir mixture until it melts and is evenly mixed.
  2. Remove from heat and add oats and 1 c. mixture of add-ins, and mix well.
  3. Pour mixture into a square pan lined with parchment paper, and spread evenly. Refrigerate for 1 – 2 hours.
  4. Using a pizza cutter, cut into bars. Wrap individual bars with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze until needed.
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Entry filed under: Recipes, Snack food. Tags: , , , , , , .

Taco Pasta Menu Plan Monday for August 8 – 10

18 Comments Add your own

  • 1. A New Endeavor: Packing Lunch « The Joyful Kitchen  |  August 8, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    […] Ham, cheese, and veggie sandwich (lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, cucumber, and green pepper) on my homemade whole wheat bread; a small container of vinaigrette dressing for the sandwich, a bunch of mini grapes, and a homemade granola bar. […]

    Reply
  • 2. jamie  |  February 10, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Wow, I love your blog and this is such a great recipe. I cant wait to try it.

    Reply
    • 3. rueki86  |  February 10, 2012 at 10:56 am

      Thanks! I love these granola bars! They’re really easy, really good, and fun to experiment with different ingredients. 🙂

      Reply
  • 4. Annette  |  February 13, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Thanks for this recipe. I just made them and they are amazing!!!! =-)

    Reply
  • 5. Christine  |  February 28, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Thanks for the granola bar recipe. I’ve made them every week for the last 3 weeks, and add them to my son’s school lunch for a healthier snack.

    Reply
  • 6. Jessica  |  March 6, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Thanks for this recipe! I don’t think my family will ever have a store bought granola bar again.

    Reply
  • 7. Beth  |  March 11, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Just made my first batch and they are chilling now. Can’t wait for my hubby to try them. He eats granola bars every day. I hope he likes them. I will report back!

    Reply
  • 8. Beth  |  March 11, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    I made them today with coconut, pecans, sunflower seeds and chocolate chips. My husband says they are better that CANDY!

    Reply
    • 9. rueki86  |  March 12, 2012 at 7:06 am

      Yum! It’s hard to go wrong with nuts and chocolate!

      Reply
  • 10. Elle  |  April 1, 2012 at 8:28 am

    These are delicious!! Do you have an estimate of the calorie count? I am afraid it’s alot because of the p.b. and too much oil isn’t good, but i can’t stop eating them!

    Reply
    • 11. rueki86  |  April 2, 2012 at 8:50 am

      Honestly, I have no idea what the calorie count is, lol. They’re definitely not a low calorie food though. The important thing to know about these granola bars, is that they contain healthy fats (unlike most grocery store granola bars which contain a lot of crap, including unhealthy fats).
      If you want to know more about healthy fats, here are some websites with a ton of information on the different kinds of fats, and which are good for you and which aren’t:
      http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2011/01/24/monday-mission-refocus-on-healthy-fats/
      Kitchen Stewardship – Introduction to Fats
      Keeper of the Home – Good Fats, Bad Fats
      That being said, whether good fats or bad fats, you don’t want to eat too much of them, simply because your body only needs as much as you’re burning off. I usually have one of these granola bars before or after an intense workout when I know my next meal isn’t going to be for awhile. Unless you’re a professional athlete, I would say any granola bar is better as an occasional treat rather than an every day snack.
      But yes, they are very yummy and hard to resist. 🙂

      Reply
  • 12. amber  |  April 4, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    These really look yummy! Is there a peanut free option to use as a binding ingredient instead of a peanut/nut butter?

    Reply
    • 13. rueki86  |  April 5, 2012 at 8:33 am

      I’m not sure what would be a good substitute for peanut/nut butter… I know there are nut free peanut butter substitutes available on the market for people with nut allergies, but I don’t really know anything about them or if they would work in this recipe. It wouldn’t hurt to try one of those out and see though!

      Reply
  • 14. angie hoover  |  April 7, 2012 at 6:50 am

    These would be soooo yummy with Almond Butter!!!!

    Reply
  • 15. Amby  |  September 19, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Wow butter is made from soy and would work!!

    Reply
  • 16. Denise M. Woosley  |  January 7, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Any advise on how to not have your chocolate chips melt?

    Reply
    • 17. rueki86  |  January 7, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      Good point! I would wait until after you’ve removed the pot from the heat, added the nuts or other add-ins, and let it cool enough that the chips won’t melt (at least not completely), but the mixture is still spreadable. If that doesn’t work, you might try waiting until you’ve spread the mixture onto the pan, then let it cool for a few minutes, then sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top and push them into the mixture.
      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  • 18. jeanne  |  August 11, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Has anyone substituted applesauce for the oil?

    Reply

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About Me

My name is Rachel. I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Oklahoma, currently living in Japan, who likes cooking, baking, reading, working out, and traveling. Join me in my culinary adventures, my domestic doings, and the story of my life, one day at a time.

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