Homemade Granola Bars {Real Food Friday-new!}


So it may be no surprise to those of you that know me but I love alliteration and catchy little names for all kinds of things. You know, like the Breakfast Menu Plan with Muffin Mondays or Toasty Tuesdays.

So today I’ve got a catchy new series I’m starting called Real Food Fridays. No fancy button or graphic just yet, just real food recipes that you can make easily and quickly. Seeing that I’m a Jamie Oliver Real Food Advocate, I’ve been extra inspired to show you all, well, real food options!

My first is homemade Granola Bars. We actually have a couple of favorites that I’ve been making, but this is the first that I’m sharing with you. It has just enough chewiness that it reminds us of the store bought kind but doesn’t have all those weird, unpronouncable ingredients and extra sugar in them. These have a definite salty bite to them but we think it’s a just right combination of salty and sweet. But if you prefer a sweeter bar, just cut down the salt (I also think it’s because I use coarse Kosher salt so maybe a finer salt would be less noticeable).

These a great for after-school snacks, in lunchboxes or any time you’re on-the-go. I hope you’ll try them too!

GRANOLA BARS
Adapted from Alton Brown
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Serves: 16 (2-inch) squares

Ingredients
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ cup wheat germ or ground flax seed
½ cup honey
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 T unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup raisins (other dried fruits would be good too!)

Directions
Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats, coconut, almonds, and wheat germ or ground flax seed onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool about 15 minutes. Cut into squares and cool completely (this is so they’re easier to cut and remove from the pan before getting too hard). Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Gather all the ingredients--you know, like those television chefs do!

Toasting the oats, nuts and coconut--yummy!

The flax seed I buy is already ground and stores in the pantry! (I buy it at Costco)

I flipped the bars out onto a cutting board and used my pizza cutter to cut the bars easily. I kind of overbaked this batch so it was a little crumbly but otherwise easy!

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