Praise the kitchen gods-I have gotten granola bars to stick together! Now, maybe everyone else has already figured out how to do this but by the time I cut the bars, I often end up with a dish of granola chunks (equally good, not intended). Turns out it was my sweetener of choice. I gravitate towards maple syrup, and as sticky as it may seem, it doesn’t have the holding power of honey. I combined honey with sunflower seed butter for more flavor and holding power to create an extra delicious granola bar.
I’ve done a poor job at hiding my disgust with packaged granola bars. I love the concept of oats, chewy fruit, and crunchy seeds all baked together but not when it’s factory made. You can eat almost anything you want, as long as you make it yourself. Homemade granola bars definitely fit into a healthy diet.
My favorite part about granola bars is their versatility. You can use any combination of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and/or chocolate you’d like. Of course, you can use peanut butter, almond butter or any other nut/seed butter too. If I had shredded coconut and wasn’t 100% positive I would have bought 10x more than just coconut at the grocery store, these bars would have included coconut too. Next time.
In a moment of weakness, I topped these granola bars with chocolate chips but the addition isn’t necessary. They are so flavorful and healthfully hearty to begin with, but anything with chocolate added isn’t exactly bad.
These bars are very quick and can be adapted to fit your taste preferences and the pantry staples you have on hand. They make a good snack or dessert, especially when enjoyed with a cup of tea (see Wednesday’s post for tea inspiration).
- 1½ cups rolled oats (certified GF if necessary)
- ½ cup unsweetened dried cranberries, or other dried fruit
- ½ cup sunflower seeds, or other nut/seed combination
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ cup sunflower seed butter, or other nut/seed butter
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tbs. chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8x8 inch baking dish with parchment paper and spray the sides with oil spray.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a glass, microwaveable bowl, whisk together the honey, vanilla, and sunflower seed butter. Microwave for 30-60 seconds, until combined and pourable.
- Pour honey mixture over oats and stir to combine with a spatula.
- Scoop granola bar mixture into prepared baking dish. With slightly damp hands, press down on mixture to spread and flatten evenly. Sprinkle with chocolate chips if desired.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool COMPLETELY before slicing into bars.
Tip: Spray a measuring cup with oil spray before measuring honey and sunflower seed butter-it is much easier to get it out that way!
Bon Appetite! Have a nice weekend 🙂