Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I'll show you some granola

We love granola bars. The kids, in particular, adore chocolate chip granola bars.

Of course, when you buy them in the store they are chock full of lots of things OTHER than granola and about 12 pounds of sugar (I exaggerate ... a little).

So, last week at the store, I picked up a box (which I rarely do - see sugar comment above), and thought, "This is nuts. They'll eat this whole tiny box in about two hours. Too much sugar. Too much packaging. Too much money!"

What does little Christine-y do? You betcha'! I made my first batch of homemade granola bars. I combined a few recipes that I found online, and here is the final concoction:

4 1/2 cups oats (ya' know - plain old Quaker oats - although I bought the giant generic fub for $2)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

Toss those dry ingredients around really good. Then keep going. In a separate bowl combine:

1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup softened butter
1 cup honey

Mix those goopy wet ingredients together really well. Then pour the goop into the dry stuff and mix away!

Here's where it gets really fun. You can add all other sorts of crap in there - flaxseed, wheat germ, nuts or dried fruit. Of course, being my first batch, my kids were begging for their fave - chocolate chips. I didn't have any dark chocolate ones on hand - just the milk chocolate (meaning: "Not as good for you"). So, I pressed all of the granola mixture into an oiled 9"x13" pan, pressed a few chocolate chips around onto the top, and then sprinkled fair trade dark chocolate cocoa powder on the top.

So, the ending to my recipe would be to oil a 9"x13" pan, smush and flatten down all of the granola mixture (by itself or with added goodies) into said pan, then pop it into a 325 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

These make chewy bars, because that's what I like. You can google search around for other variations. I'm soooo excited. Even if you cut the bars rather generously, you are still making at least two store-bought boxes worth - and these are much yummier and you know EXACTLY what is in them.

**UPDATE: I wrote this post last week, which ended up being a Backward WFMW. So I saved it for this week. Last night I made another batch with dark chocolate chips (2 full cups). I won't put in that many chips next time. You just don't need that much. Heck, I was perfectly happy last week with the parts of granola bar that hadn't been touched by chocolate. I'll make my own "plain jane" version for myself in a couple of days!. The kids, however, are currently praising my name! lol**

19 comments:

Noah Bear said...

Oooooh, I love homemade granola bars. Unfortunately, my kids seem to be from another planet because they won't touch them.. (homemade or store bought) which means my husband and I end up eating the whole thing ourselves.

Which reminds me.. I do have some oats in the pantry that are about to expire....

Leslie

Anonymous said...

Just discovered your site last week, and LOVE it!! I'm just now really starting to think "homemade", and these will be great for our family. I must admit, I'm a store bought granola person, never made my own. Thanks.

Tracy said...

Oh, I am definitely trying this one! Thanks!

The Shan said...

Thank you and perfect timing! I'll add the missing ingredients to my list and be off! :) xo (you have been promoted to xo status)

Sonshine said...

yummy!! might just have to give these a try as we love granola bars here too!

Leann said...

Oh...YUM!!! I will be trying this one. :)

simple mom said...

This sounds wonderful! We live overseas, so we miss granola bars (can't get em here). And I love baking from scratch. Thanks!

Topsy-Techie said...

Thanks for sharing...what can be more wonderful than homemade granola and dark chocolate. Nothing I can think of off hand. Yum!

Amy said...

I'll definitely need to try this. I love chewy granola bars, but I have the same problems with store-bought ones.

Do you suppose I could substitute peanut butter for part (or all) of the butter?

Cammie said...

Yum-o! Even I am on board with this one!

R. D. Bailey said...

i'm sending my wife over here to get the rec. thanks.

she's here
http://mamayebailey.blogspot.com/

Terroni said...

i pay a buck a bar for Clif bars (my daily breakfast). but, i'm going to try to find time to make these. if i add something really yummy, i'll be sure to come back and tell you all about it.

martistanley said...

I am impressed. I'm with everyone else on this one, I will definitely give this a try. Thanks!

suzof7 said...

I saved this recipe to try - thanks for sharing! I've made them before, but the recipe was crumbly, so I'm looking for one that holds up better.

Ter said...

great! I'm going to try this!

Cammie said...

OK, so I tried this yesterday morning. The flavor was great, but they definatly were not bars...How do I get them to stay in bar form? Bake them longer?

Christine said...

I would try baking longer, yes. Also, you might try a baking pan, so you're spreading them out thinner.

That's the tough part about recipes - we all have different ovens, different pans, etc. Try it til you get it!

I do pop my whole pan in the fridge for a bit, once they've cooled slightly. Mainly because we keep trying to eat them when they're warm and goopy! ha!

Kim said...

What about substituting apple sauce for the butter? Do you think that would work? (LOL - I know nothing about baking, but I've heard you can substitute apple sauce for oils in recipes, and was wondering ...)

Anonymous said...

My kids take granola bars as their snack to school (a 2 day a week school for homeschoolers) twice a week. I was buying Cascadian Farms organic which was running me around $3.50+ per box. I made your recipe this week for the kids to "try them out" and see if they would like them. OH BOY DID THEY!! I'm so excited about this wonderful recipe for many reasons: 1.this recipe doesn't have peanut butter (my kids don't like it...I know call them crazy) 2.they are A LOT cheaper 3.they are healther and at least I know what is in them 4.I get more for my money. I buy my oats and honey in bulk and my chocolate chips I get when they are on sale.
Thank you so very much for posting this recipe. They will now have a homemade granola bar (or square the way I cut them) that is good for them!