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!
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- ⅓ cup honey
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups rolled oats, divided
- 2 tablespoons wheat germ
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup dried cherries
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup dried blueberries
- ¼ cup chopped dates
- 2 tablespoons dried pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
- Grease the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Preheat oven to 350.
- In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter, honey, granulated sugar and vanilla, stirring well to combine.
- In a food processor or blender, process ⅓ 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.
- 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.
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.
P.S. Any crumbles left after cutting are delicious served over plain Greek yogurt with a little drizzle of honey!