August 6, 2014

The Perfect Chewy Granola Bars

With back-to-school time upon us, now is the time to start thinking about healthy, delicious snacks to pack in lunches or to serve kiddos for breakfast or as an after-school snack. For our family, no snack is a greater crowd-pleaser than chewy granola bars. My son Jack and I recently did a bit of experimenting in the kitchen to come up with a granola bar recipe that is not only chewy and delicious, but that also only contains wholesome, easy-to-pronounce and good-for-you ingredients. Today, I’m sharing the recipe that has now become our go-to for granola bars. These are so good, my son calls them super bars, and I think once you give them a try, you’ll see why they’ve earned that nickname!

Delicious, chewy granola bars that contain ONLY wholesome, easy-to-pronounce ingredients! Yum!

Chewy Dried Fruit and Pumpkin Seed Granola Bars
A recipe for chewy granola bars featuring dried fruit and pumpkin seeds.
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Ingredients
  1. 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  2. 1/3 cup honey
  3. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 2 cups rolled oats, divided
  6. 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  9. 1/2 cup dried cherries
  10. 1/2 cup raisins
  11. 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  12. 1/4 cup dried blueberries
  13. 1/4 cup chopped dates
  14. 2 tablespoons dried pumpkin seeds
  15. 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Grease the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter, honey, granulated sugar and vanilla, stirring well to combine.
  3. In a food processor or blender, process 1/3 cup of the rolled oats until they are finely ground into a flour-like texture. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the remaining oats, wheat germ, salt, all of the dried fruit, the pumpkin seeds, and chocolate chips (if using), and stir until ingredients are incorporated. Pour the butter mixture over the dry ingredients, and stir well to blend.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading out evenly with a spatula. Gently press the mixture with your hand to ensure the granola evenly covers the entire surface of the pan. Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until the edges are slightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. While still warm, use a very sharp knife sprayed with non-stick spray to cut into bars or squares. Cool completely on a wire rack before storing in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.
Notes
  1. Substitute any combination of dried fruit and nuts that you wish in this recipe. Dried coconut is another great add-in option.
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What I love about this recipe is that by substituting any combination of dried fruits and nuts, you can completely change the flavor to suit your own family’s tastes. There really are countless different options for how to prepare these! I think a tropical version with dried mango, pineapple, apricots and coconut would be delicious, too.

Delicious, chewy granola bars that contain ONLY wholesome, easy-to-pronounce ingredients! Yum!

To ensure easy cutting, make sure to cut the granola bars while still warm with a knife sprayed with non-stick spray. If the bars crumble a bit as you work–don’t worry! You can simply use your hands to press them back together, and they will stay together once they are cool. To expedite the cooling process, I actually put mine in the fridge for a half hour or so before wrapping them in squares of parchment paper to make them the perfect on-the-go snack.

Delicious, chewy granola bars that contain ONLY wholesome, easy-to-pronounce ingredients! Yum!

P.S. Any crumbles left after cutting are delicious served over plain Greek yogurt with a little drizzle of honey! 

Delicious, chewy granola bars that contain ONLY wholesome, easy-to-pronounce ingredients! Yum!

Thanks so much for stopping in!

Amy @ Positively Splendid

Amy @ Positively Splendid

Having grown up in a home brimming with sewing notions and paintbrushes, Amy has a deep love for all things creative. On any given day, you'll find her knee-deep in her latest creative endeavor, with projects ranging from sewing and crafts to home decor and kid-friendly ideas. Amy believes that everyone, regardless of skill level or experience, possesses the ability to create something beautiful, and Positively Splendid was born of her passion for helping others harness their innate creative potential.
Amy @ Positively Splendid
Amy @ Positively Splendid

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One Response to The Perfect Chewy Granola Bars

  1. Sarah August 6, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    YUM YUM YUM, AMAZING PHOTOS — I want to put my hand into the screen to SAMPLE one of your chewy granola bars! ALAS, I cannot! No magic here . . . PLUS I’m diabetic, type 2, so I cannot even taste. Maybe I can alter the recipe? Or maybe my 27-yr old son will like these because he buys granola at the neighborhood co-op every week. Undoubtedly many others will enjoy baking and eating these. Thanks for sharing. Sarah Helene in Minneapolis

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