Whole grain granola bars
There’s something about granola bar recipes that grabs my attention every time…
And then there’s something about crumbled granola bars that makes me vow never to make them again!
Hense, I wanted a recipe that would not result in a crumbled bar all over the dining room floor and these are the result. Also on my ‘to add’ list were as many whole grains/seeds/nuts/other such nutritious things as possible. Heap them in.
Result: Granola bars- your way. These are extremely easy to tweak! I’ve include the recipes for 2 types I have enjoyed, but any combination of seeds/nuts & dried fruit or chocolate drizzle would taste great!
For an allergen free version of these bars, see dairy free granola bars. (The recipe is dairy/nut/gluten free). Or for a peanut butter version, see peanut butter granola bars with chocolate scribble .
Here are ‘chocolate-almond’ whole grain granola bars,
here are some ‘cranberry seed’ whole grain granola bars, which are nut free.
These can be made gluten free as well by using certified gluten free oats and crispy brown rice cereal, if need be!
These bars come out chewy and dense. They also keep well in a air tight container for up to a week in the fridge. (If you have a cool house, they’ll do just fine on the counter as well, but can get tacky if its too warm).
Fine print details:
These are stovetop granola bars. To get the right consistency, you will need a candy thermometer.
It’s worth it though! It doesn’t need to be fancy, any basic candy thermometer will work! If you are looking for a recommendation, I tried 2 types and found that the kind with a metal probe/dial are a bit harder to use than a straight up and down type, because it needs to be submerged a couple of inches to read properly. This meant tilting the pot every couple of minutes to test the temperature. Totally doable, just an extra step. On the other hand, the type that is rectangular, & straight up and down needs only to be submerged a little.
While you make the sauce on the stovetop, the oats and seeds/nuts are toasted in the oven (toasted oats and nuts/seeds=awesome flavour!). Then, simply mix everything in a large bowl and press it into a pan. Drizzle with chocolate if you’re making that type and let chill 20 minutes or so before cutting your granola bars! Store in an airtight container with wax paper between layers in a cool spot.
While much of these bars will need to be done by an adult, a little helper can assist in measuring before anything goes into the oven or onto the stove. And with sampling. 🙂
Leave a comment if you try other combinations! Use 1/2 cup of any nuts or seeds and 3/4 cup any dried fruit in place of those in recipe!
Chewy & dense whole grain granola bars with gluten free and nut free options
- 1 cup (2%) milk
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups large flake rolled oats (also called old fashioned)
- 2 cups crispy brown rice cereal (Not puffed rice)*
- CRANBERRY SEED
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
- 2 T chia seeds or ground flax seed
- CHOCOLATE ALMOND
- 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds (can sub seeds for nut free)
- 2 T chia seeds or ground flax seed
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1 T butter
- Put milk, butter (1/2 cup), honey, salt, and vanilla into a heavy bottomed pot and place over a medium-high heat. Cook over med-high heat until soft ball stage (235-240 degrees F or 118-120 degrees C). This will take about 25 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- While syrup is cooking, place oats and whatever nuts/seeds you are using on a pan and toast at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Stir them once after about 5 minutes.
- Put oats, nuts/seeds, crispy rice cereal, chia/flax, and dried fruit into a large bowl. When syrup has cooked to softball stage, pour it over the mixture and stir until well combined.
- Press into a parchment paper lined 9×13 pan. If you are making chocolate almond bars, melt the chocolate and butter together, then drizzle over the bars. Let cool 20 minutes or until firm enough to slice easily. If you leave them too long and they seem too crispy to cut easily, just let the bars sit out at room temperature to soften.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container. Place wax paper between layers to keep bars from sticking in a warm house.
*I have found crispy brown rice cereal at both a regular grocery store as well as at health food stores.
From my kitchen to yours- enjoy!