I love granola bars, especially the chewy kind. They're delicious, they're healthy (relatively), and they come in so many fun flavors! They are great for traveling too, since they're easy to eat and don't make a mess when you give them to kids. So granola bars were the first thing to come to mind when we started thinking about what snacks to bring when we drive up to visit my family in Idaho this week. Unfortunately, they tend to be a tad bit pricey. We're super cheap, especially since we're in the process of buying a house (hooray!!!!) and need to save aggressively to pay the down payment. So instead of going out and buying granola bars, I decided to find a recipe and make them! After all, I've started making my own granola, it should be easy and fun to make granola bars too. So I found this yummy and simple looking recipe on allrecipes.com and got started. And boy, they turned out so good!
2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ (used wheat bran)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey (used pancake syrup)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges (Reading the recipe reviews, I deduced that this recipe makes kinda crunchy granola bars, so I cooked for only 20 minutes to achieve a more chewy bar). 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.
This recipe seems like it would lend itself well to being personalized a bit. You could add chocolate chips, nuts or seeds, coconut, some reviewers used applesauce instead of oil, syrup instead of honey, cranberries or other fruit instead of raisins, one person even said she added canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. I love basic recipes that can be added to in a huge variety of ways! I have a feeling I'll be making granola bars pretty often. :-)