This is definitely my signature recipe. The instructions might seem kind of long but there’s really a certain technique to getting them to stick together in firm bars verses crumbling into granola. In other words, if you don't do it EXACTLY as written or you skip some of the mixing, your bars WILL crumble. I’ve made them so many times now that I like to think I have it down to a science.
Don't get scared when you look at the calories. These are packed with protein, whole grains, and healthy fats. They are a great combo of complex carbs and protein and will keep you feeling full and satisfied, all in a neat little package you can throw into your purse. And the smidgen of chocolate is just enough that they taste like an indulgence. If you really want a lower calorie snack, you can always cut them into 20 bars instead of 16. They will still be more than satisfying.
|Heaven in a bar :) :)|
- ½ cup dry roasted peanuts or other nuts
- ½ cup roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
- 1 2/3 cups raisins or other chopped dried fruit
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
- 2 cups rolled or instant oats
- ¼ cup toasted wheat germ (optional)
- 2 cups toasted or puffed whole grain cereal (I use Arrowhead Mills Puffed Millet. You can use Rice Krispies in a pinch but they are not whole grain)
- ½ cup creamy natural peanut butter or other nut butter
- ½ cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
TWO: Combine peanut butter and honey in a large microwaveable bowl (tip: Use a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Pour the 1/2 cup of honey in first and then just drop plops of peanut butter in until the level reaches 1 cup. This saves you from measuring out the ½ cup of peanut butter and making another utensil dirty).
THREE: Microwave on High for 1 minute, stir well, and microwave for an additional minute or until bubbling. Add vanilla and stir until blended.
FOUR: Pour half of the peanut butter mixture over the dry ingredients and mix it for a good 5 minutes until it's almost completely coated. I've found that the best way to mix it is to use the side of a large stiff rubber spatula and cut through the mix over and over while rotating the bowl. That breaks up all the clumps of moistened ingredients so that any remaining dry ingredients can be incorporated (I’ve tried using my hands before but so much of the sticky stuff gets stuck to them that my bars end up crumbly).
If making 2 batches at once, measure and mix the first batch separately, press into the pan, and then place a layer of wax paper over the top. You can then measure and mix the second batch and press it into the pan on top of the first.
Individually wrap the bars as soon as possible so they don’t dry out and crumble (Glad Press n’ Seal works really well) and keep in the fridge or at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Freeze wrapped granola bars in a freezer bag. I put a week's worth in the fridge at a time and keep the other individually wrapped batches in gallon ziploc bags in the freezer. Once the fridge stash is gone I transfer another week’s from the freezer to the fridge and they are thawed and ready to eat when I need them.
Tip: I recommend cutting and wrapping your granola bars when your kids are napping because, if they're anything like mine, they will have what we call G-Bar Radar. My boys can smell a batch of granola bars a mile away and will flock to the kitchen and stand there begging for bites :)
|Is that Granola Bars I smell?!?!|
|I can alllllmost reach.....|
|Totally worth the effort :)|
Per 1 bar serving (cut into 16 bars)- 293 Calories (95 Calories from Fat), 11g Fat, 2g Saturated Fat, 0mg Cholesterol, 5mg Sodium, 44g Total Carbohydrates, 5g Dietary Fiber, 22g Sugars, 9g Protein, 0% DV Vitamin A, 1% DV Vitamin C, 3% DV Calcium, 11% DV Iron
Per 1 bar serving (cut into 20 bars)- 234 Calories (76 Calories from Fat), 9g Fat, 2g Saturated Fat, 0mg Cholesterol, 4mg Sodium, 35g Total Carbohydrates, 4g Dietary Fiber, 17g Sugars, 7g Protein, 0% DV Vitamin A, 1% DV Vitamin C, 2% DV Calcium, 9% DV Iron