Recently I’ve been in a slump and I just haven’t felt like baking. I’ll get that itch, the one that says it’s time to get into the kitchen and make some magic. But then I’ll think about the dishes I’ll have to do and how warm the kitchen going to get with the oven on and instead I’ll head over to the TV and turn on So You Think You Can Dance.
Rest assured this Homemade Chewy Granola Bar recipe from Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats is easy, low on the dishes and doesn’t require any baking; just a bit of knife work.
Since I wanted the use these granola bars as a substitute for my bowl of breakfast granola I added few thing (ok a lot of things; see the additions below) but I’m sure her recipe is just as tasty if you want to make it as it was written.First you’ll need to measure out 1/2 cup each of almonds & pecans and all of the your oats and dump them into your mixer.
Then you’ll want to pulse until they’re chopped but not until they’re powder; if you went that far it’s too much.
Next you’ll chop up the remaining almonds and pecans and then toss them in.
Now you’ll need to get to work measuring and chopping everything else. Here’s what I added next:
-3 Heaping Tbsp. Dried Cranberries
-1 Tsp.Sesame Seeds
-1/4 C. Dried Pineapples (chopped)
-6 Dried Prunes (chopped)
-6 Dried Apricots (chopped)
-6 Dried Dates (chopped)
-1 Tbsp. Mini Chocolate Chips
-1 Tbsp. Chia Seeds
-2 Tbsp. Flax Seeds
-2 Tsp. Wheat Germ
-2 Tbsp. Sunflower Seeds
-2 Tbsp. Pumpkin Seeds
-2 Tbsp. Pistachios
Next you’ll need to put a saucepan on the stove and once you’ve added your ingredients (I omitted the almond extract and instead of a dash I added 1/2 tsp of cinnamon) turn it to medium and stir until it’s melted.
Before we go any further let me just say that after the first batch I was feeling really confident and decided to switch out the coconut oil for peanut butter. BIG MISTAKE. The peanut butter didn’t hold the bars together like the oil did and honestly, I just didn’t like what the swap did to the texture or the taste. Stick with the coconut oil, it’s divine and even The Husband who hates all things coconut was a fan even after I told him what was in it.
Now the fun part. Mix it all together and then I used my spatula to press it into my plastic wrap lined 8 x 8 pan.
To cool then quicker you can toss them in the freezer and then cut them or the fridge works well too.
I’ve since eaten my way through two batches of these and the other day I grabbed a pre-packaged granola bar to snack on at the office and it just wasn’t the same. I missed the creamy, sweet & salty flavors of my own creations so it looks like another batch might be on the horizon for me.