Since I already had the ingredients for granola, I decided to try my hand at some homemade granola bars. I don’t particularly like store-bought granola bars. They have a weird aftertaste and aren’t really satisfying. These granola bars are filling without being too dense; they are soft, not crunchy, so they’re pretty great on the go. I don’t really eat them as snacks because it’s just too much, but I’ve been carrying them in my bag in case I miss lunch. I also eat one about 45 minutes before heading to the gym.
Word of warning: The original recipe calls for chocolate chips, but I think that makes them too rich. I’m going to stick with dried fruits and nuts the next time I make them.
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup peanut butter (I used chunky)
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup jam (I used strawberry)
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup raisins
Combine the rolled oats, whole-wheat flour, wheat germ and sunflower seeds in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, stir together the brown sugar, peanut butter, honey, jam and vanilla. Pour the liquid mixture into the oat mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until completely combined. Add the raisins and chocolate chips and press into an even layer in a lightly greased 9×13″ baking dish. Bake the granola bars at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove the pan from the oven and slice the granola bars immediately. However, let them cool completely in the pan before scooping them out. They’ll be too soft to retain their shape before then.