A Happy, Healthy Family


Wholesome Oat & Honey Bars

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Friends, I have been on a quest for a good homemade granola bar for over five years now, and I had just about given up when I came to a few realizations:

  1. Granola bars, while convenient and tasty, are not all that healthy. Store-bought ones obviously have tons of fake ingredients, soy, and sugar, and even homemade ones usually include ingredients like butter, mounds of sugar, or crispy rice cereal (which often has a lengthy ingredient list), which I wouldn't really call "healthy."
  2. There are many recipes out there for truly healthy granola bars, but those all use dates as a base ingredient, and I just don't like dates. If you do, look up some of the recipes--you'll find a ton!
  3. Granola bars need some sort of binding ingredient--if it's not going to be dates, it's going to need to be something like peanut butter or sugar or honey.
  4. Even with a few slightly less healthy ingredients, homemade granola bars will almost always be healthier (and far cheaper!) than what you'll buy in the store.
So, with #4 fresh in my mind, I decided to try a recipe that was supposed to be like Nature Valley Oat and Honey Granola Bars. The recipe is a pretty good one, although I have made a few modifications, but it also includes a method of packing down the bars that is ingenious!

Getting granola bars to stick together enough to make them portable (which is the main reason to eat them, really) has always been tricky for me. Samantha over at Five Heart Home, where I got the original recipe, suggests using the bottom of a loaf pan (or something similarly hard and flat) to pack down the granola mixture before and after baking. This made all the difference between these bars and those that I've been making for the past five years!

So this is just the beginning of a renewed granola bar venture. The recipe below is a great foundation, and I'm going to experiment with adding in other nuts, seeds, dried fruits, etc. and will be sure to share when I come up with winning combinations. Until then, try out this basic recipe and see what you think!

Notes: You can buy oat flour or make your own by grinding about 3/4 c of rolled oats into a fine powder in the food processor (or use white wheat flour instead).

I order puffed millet here.

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Wholesome Oat & Honey Bars
These basic granola bars combine only real ingredients and are so much cheaper than store-bought!
  • 3 1/4 c rolled oats
  • 3/4 c puffed millet
  • 2/3 c oat flour or white wheat flour
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • 3/4 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2/3 c raw honey
  • 1/3 c coconut oil, melted
  • 2 t vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 9 x 13 glass baking dish with parchment paper.2. In large bowl, combine oats, millet, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.3. In small bowl, combine honey, oil, and vanilla.4. Pour wet mixture over dry and stir well.5. Press granola bar mixture into glass dish. Use the bottom of a loaf pan to firmly pack the ingredients down.6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until oats are golden brown. After removing from oven, pack down again with bottom of loaf pan. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars. Store in airtight container.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 14 bars

Source: Adapted from Five Heart Home


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