After many years of trying to make granola bars at home, I’ve come up with a few things that I like. I would say that the majority of them are not things that I’d call granola bars. Breakfast bars is a better fit here. These bars are more fluffy… muffin-y… or cake-y than a granola bar should be. I do, however, like them. My 7 year old daughter and husband are on board as well.
This is how it comes together:
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I like King Arthur)
1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped dried fruits and nuts (I used almonds, dates and cranberries today but love apricots too)
1 cup flaked coconut
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4+ cup honey (maple syrup works here too)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine first 6 ingredients in mixing bowl*. Run fingers through to separate any dried fruit that is clumping. Add wet ingredients and mix until evenly moist and clumpy. Drizzle with a little more honey if you have a sweet tooth. Press into 9″ x 9″ square pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 32-34 minutes. Remove from oven, cool for 5 minutes, flip out onto cutting board and cut into 12 rectangles (or less if you want giant ones).
*Optional boost – protein powder. I’ve successfully incorporated 1-2 scoops of unflavored protein powder in these bars to turn them into “protein bars” for my husband.
I usually store half in an air tight container for at-home munching and wrap half in waxed paper or plastic wrap to grab and go.