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Chewy Granola Bars – Oats Nuts & Dried Fruit

Chewy Granola Bars – Oats Nuts & Dried Fruit

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” ~ La Rochefoucauld

Like any busy family, I look for quick healthy nutrient dense snacks that we can grab on the go. Right now, as hard as we work to slow things down, life is fast-moving and there are times you just need that quick easy snack. Unfortunately those quick easy snacks I see in the grocery stores are laden with unpronounceable, synthetic, bad for the environment, and bad for you & me ingredients. Trying to make a conscious effort to better what my family eats, how my family eats, and where our ingredients come from I look to the back of boxes such as chewy granola bars and other snack like treats and say… “I can make that…!”

The challenge is over the past few months my toddler has gone from eating everything he could get his hands on to a very limited selection of… not much. We’re in the visual stages now… if it looks funny, it’s not going in his mouth. My other challenge is I have an electrician husband. He performs strenuous physical labor daily and the ability to sit down and have a solid meal on the job site is not an easy option. The healthy, nutrient dense snacks I choose for my boys must look appealing, be easy to eat on the go, and of course… TASTE GOOD!

Chewy granola bars are typically a great snack to throw in your backpack, purse, or other carryall on the go. So the first snack I attempted to recreate was the chewy granola bar. In my first test, I used whole wheat flour and stone ground oats. The bars turned out cake like vs. a chewy bar consistency. My toddler gobbled the first test batch up but the bars were a crumbly mess and slightly dry. The second test I used only whole grain oats. Apparently test #2 for the chewy granola bars was a success because my husband woke me up from a deep sleep on the couch to give me a high-five and tell me “those are damn good!”

And the little man seems to agree too…
chewy granola bars

My version of the chewy granola bars are a combination of several recipes I researched on the interwebs. They all held a common theme; dried fruits, nuts, oats, and honey. It is such a versatile recipe. You can use any dried fruit. In this recipe I use cranberries, apples, & plums but you could use anything. Raisins, mangos, cherries, apricots, any dried fruit you could think of. And the same with the nut… almond, walnut, cashew, peanut… any variety. You can grind the ingredients as I did, or leave them chunkier for a bit more texture to the chewy granola bar. It’s up to you. I’m excited because the family loves the bars, they are quick and easy to make, they taste great, and they are good for you. Winner winner!

Chewy Granola Bars – Oats Nuts & Dried Fruit
350 F degrees / 25-30 mins / yield: 2 dozen bars cut 2 in x .5 in
* = organic
*^ = organic/local

■ 2 1/4 cups whole grain rolled oats (quick oats)
■ 2 tablespoons raw wheat germ * (Bob’s RedMill)
■ 2 tablespoons whole ground flaxseed meal * (Bob’s RedMill)
■ 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
■ 1 teaspoon cinnamon
■ 1 cup dried fruit (1/3 c prunes, 1/3 cup apples, 1/3 cup cranberries) *^ chopped
■ 1 cup whole almonds ^ chopped
■ 1/3 cup brown sugar * packed
■ 1/3 cup honey ^
■ 1/4 cup peanut butter *^ (room temperature – I make my own nut butters so the peanut butter used in this recipe is homemade)
■ 4 – 5 tablespoons butter *^ (room temperature)
■ 1 cookie sheet + 1/2 teaspoon olive oil or butter for coating the pan (or a sheet of parchment paper… your choice)

chewy granola bars

Step 1: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees (f) and prep a cookie sheet with a light coating of olive oil, butter, or a piece of parchment paper. Set aside.
chewy granola bars

Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients (oats, flaxseed, wheat germ, cinnamon, kosher salt) and the brown sugar; set aside.
chewy granola bars

Step 3: In a food processor, combine all dried fruit and chop till you have medium size pieces. At this point add in your almonds and chop the entire mixture till you have a small crumble. {Note: you can hand chop all ingredients, giving more texture to your bars. You can leave some bits larger than others but not too large to make sure your bars will combine with the wet ingredients. End Note}
chewy granola bars

Step 4: Combine the nut fruit mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients, making sure all ingredients are well incorporated with each other.
chewy granola bars

Step 5: Using your favorite mixing utensil (I’ll use my hands) add in, one ingredient at a time, the room temperature butter, peanut butter, and honey. By the end you’ll have a sticky mixture that can easily be pressed together.
chewy granola bars

Step 6: Press the mixture on the prepped cookie sheet. After the mixture has been pressed into the cookie sheet, the layer should be roughly 1/2 of an inch thick and a square 10in x 10in. Place in a pre-heated 350 degree (f) oven for 25-30 minutes. The longer the bake the crisp the texture.
chewy granola bars

Step 7: After the baking time, remove the chewy granola bars from the oven and let cool on the counter for a few minutes before removing the sheet from the pan. Place on a cutting board and with a pizza cutter or sharp knife cut the bars into your desired size. The batch I made turned out 2 dozen, 1/2 in x 2 in bars.
chewy granola bars

Storage: Keep in an air tight container in a cool dry place for up to 2 weeks, but freshest within the first week of baking… if they last that long! ENJOY!
chewy granola bars

Original post written on August 6th, 2012 by The Sustainable Sweet & Savory Gourmet at site: http://thesustainablesweetandsavorygourmet.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/chewy-oat-nut-and-fruit-bars/

2 responses to “Chewy Granola Bars – Oats Nuts & Dried Fruit

  1. Aloha Angie!

    Alexia and I are looking for a great granola/snack bar .. gonna try this one!

    Love you!

    Robin

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