A recent go-to breakfast staple in our house has been homemade granola bars. Easy to make, delicious, and the ingredients are usually already in the pantry!
Simple Homemade Granola Bars
1 ½ cups Old-Fashioned Oats*
½ cup Craisins (I like the Pomegranate or Blueberry-infused ones)
1 cup trail mix OR 1 cup crispy rice cereal OR 1 cup broken cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc (be creative!)
½ cup chocolate chips
¼ cup honey
¼ cup smooth peanut butter
Dollop of Nutella, if you are craving double chocolate
*You may prefer to toast the oats before adding to other ingredients. Pour oats on cookie sheet. Spread evenly until in single layer. Toast in oven at 350° for 10-13 mins or until lightly brown. Let cool before adding. This makes the house smell wonderful! But keep a close eye. Don’t want to burn the oats – yuck!
Add all dry ingredients in medium-sized bowl, chocolate chips last.
Measure out honey and peanut butter (and Nutella, if desired) into saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until mixed together and liquid. Once again, do not let this burn – yuck! (I say this from experience – do not be tempted to just wash one dish, or make a phone call. Just focus for the two minutes it will take. It’s therapeutic to watch peanut butter melt.)
Pour peanut butter mixture into bowl.
Stir immediately. Stir until all ingredients are coated in peanut butter mixture. It won’t seem like it’ll cover everything at first. Just keep stirring.
Line 8X8 pan with parchment paper (Make sure there is some extra paper hanging over the sides. This helps later.) Pour everything into pan. Pan down with spoon/spatula. Freeze for 30 minutes or more.
Grab edges of parchment paper and lift out of pan. Place on cutting board. Cut granola into squares using long knife. Keep in freezer until desired eating time. Take out, wait 1 minute to defrost a little, and then enjoy!!
You can substitute a lot with this recipe, so go nuts (or raisins)! These bars tend to crumble easily. You do want some stickier dried fruits to help hold the bars together. If you use only nuts and seeds, it may crumble quite a lot. But then you have a nice granola mix!
This recipe was adapted from The Minimalist Baker’s granola bars.