Homemade granola bars are a fabulous way to pack in whole grains, seeds, fiber, protein and nutrients. The best part? They are portable and packed full of energy to get you through a long drive in the car, a day at the beach or a 10 hours work day. My granola bars are always changing based on what nuts and dried fruit I have in the house. As with many of my recipes, it is more about the method than the ingredients themselves.
My bars are special because I take time to toast the oats, nuts and seeds in the oven before blending with the other ingredients. This process is a quick way of releasing the natural oils found in the nuts and seeds without having to add any oil. It will make you bars stand apart from anything you might find in the grocery store, no corn syrup required.
Feel free to change up this recipe as much or as little as you wish. I’ve made these bars with dried apricots, dates and prunes. I’ve made them with chocolate chips and without. (Bet you can’t guess which ones tasted better.) Sometimes I add flax seeds, sometimes I add wheat germ and sometimes I add both. And don’t forget the spices – these are delicious with a little cinnamon and I’ve even been known to add in a little ground ginger.
The bottom line: if Liz is baking something, it’s a flexible and versatile recipe. You won’t find any homemade sour dough bread on my blog any time soon. Fortunately, my patient husband is the baker of the household so I leave that to him.
Seedy Oat and Flax Bars
- 2 cups oats
- 2 cups chopped nuts/seeds (walnuts, almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
- 2 tablespoon flax seed
- 2 tablespoon toasted wheat germ
- 3 c large shredded wheat biscuits or 2 squares
- 2 cups dried fruit (cherries, dates, apricots, raisins, etc.)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2/3 c honey
- 2/3 c chocolate chips
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
- Spread oats, nuts, seeds and wheat germ on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes, turning once half-way through. Set aside to cool.
- In a food processor, pulse the toasted oat mixture with the shredded wheat, salt, cinnamon and dried cherries until smooth.
- In a medium bowl, wisk eggs with vanilla and honey. Add the oat mixture and stir until combined.
- Stir in chocolate chips then pour mixture into pre-sprayed pan.
- Press on the granola mixture to flatten and bake for 25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars.