Saturday, February 2, 2013

Wholesome Homemade Granola Bars

Yes, even the healthier choices from the grocery store are often loaded with ingredients we don't need to eat.   So why not make your own?  Today I decided to try to make some homemade granola bars for our trip.   Yummy!  Almost like a cookie and definitely something for your sweet tooth.  They came out chewy, which I prefer over crunchy granola bars.  They have good flavor, but I would add more peanut butter and chocolate next time and less honey.  They were still sweet for me, even though I cut down significantly on the amount of sugar the original recipe called for.  My little guy loves them!!!
Happy Cooking!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
An altered recipe based on this:
2 cups of rolled oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup wheat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and generously grease a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray (I used the spray for baking).

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, sugar, wheat bran, flour, and salt.  Make a well in the center and pour in the egg, oil, honey, apple sauce, peanut butter, water.  Mix just until combined with a spoon. Add the chocolate chips until evenly distributed.  Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes (this allows the wheat bran to absorb some of the moisture before cooking).

After the mix sits, it thickens up a bit.
I left a 1 inch gap at the end of the pan because I didn't want them to be too thin.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown.  Cool for 5 minutes and immediately cut into bars.  Place on wax paper and allow to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.  Enjoy!
After they came out of the oven.
And sliced into bars - yummy!
Other variations:
Chocolate Chip
     Omit the Peanut Butter, add 2 tsp vanilla, increase amounts of chocolate chips if desired.

Vanilla Cinnamon Raisin
       Omit chocolate chips and peanut butter.  Instead add 2 tsp vanilla extract, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2-3/4 cup of raisins (to your liking)

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