My family loves granola bars but buying multiple boxes each week gets very pricey. At Whole Foods one box of granola bars can be as much as $4.00. My solution to not spending a huge amount of money each week on granola bars was to start making them from scratch and surprisingly they are more delicious than the store bought version (not to mention they make your house smell so good afterward). The recipe below is for a crunchy version of the classic granola bar (also when scraps of the bars fall to the side you can collect them and have a little bowl of granola cereal or mix into some yogurt).
Crunchy Organic Granola Bars
(recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen)
7 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups nuts, seeds, or fired fruit (we like using almonds, peanuts, or raisins)
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon (or even more if you like!)
Preheat oven to 375. Combine oats, oil and salt in a large bowl and mix until the oats are evenly coated. Transfer mixture to the baking pan (I use a 13×9 glass pan) and spread into an even layer. Bake and stir every 10 minutes, until it appears pale gold, approximately 20-25 minutes. Remove the oats and lower the oven temperature to 300.
Depending on type of nut or seed you use, you will need to chop to desired consistency. Combine the honey and brown sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 1-2 minutes stirring constantly, to dissolve brown sugar. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and cinnamon.
Combine the oats, nuts, and honey mixture in a large bowl and stir until the oats are coated with the honey mixture. Spray the baking pan with non-stick spray and then transfer the granola mixture to the prepared baking pan and spread in an even layer. Firmly press the mixture into the pan, making a flat, and even layer. Bake until mixture is golden usually 35-40 minutes.
Cool in the baking pan, on a wire rack, for 10-15 minutes before cutting into bars. Cut the bars all the way through and then allow the granola bars to completely cool. Do not wait longer than 15 minutes before cutting the bars as they harden quickly. Once cut remove from pan and transfer to plate to cool completely.