Granola Bars

I’m tired of store-bought granola bars. Team Dawmilam consumes a lot of them; Dave eats a peanut butter Nature’s Valley granola bar every day for breakfast, and I keep a stash of some variety (Kashi, Cascadian Farms, or even Quaker) in the “food bin” in my shared office. (Luckily, desk-mate Meredith shares my love of snacks, and she always contributes something tasty to the food bin.)

However, as I was gnawing on a Kashi peanut butter chip “chewy” bar the other day, I realized two things: (1) it tasted like cardbord, and (2) life’s just too short to eat dry, over-sugared, over-processed, no good granola bars.

A quick internet search and a nice fun visit to Harry’s later, I made these:

I basically used two recipes online for two different types of granola bars. The first version: “Hawaiian” style (there’s pineapple and macadamia nuts in there; that’s Hawaiian, right?) were basically uncooked, meaning I just poured a sugary mixture over them and allowed them to sit until they were somewhat hardened. The second version, a more traditional peanut butter/nut/seed combo, were baked for 20 minutes. I couldn’t resist taste testing them while baking, and we’ve been enjoying them all week. The jury’s still out on which one’s better. Everyone who’s tried both has a different opinion on which is better. I actually don’t have a preference: they’re both fantabulous.

Hawaiian Granola Bars

My base was this recipe, and I adjusted it slightly, as follows (had to leave out the shredded coconut since Dave hates it and I’m a good wife like that):

Toast 2 cups oats in oven for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees. While oats are toasting, chop finely some dried pineapple, dried banana slices, white chocolate chips (use sparingly), and macadamia nuts. This should total about 2 cups worth of dried, tasty, chopped up stuff. When oats are out of oven, allow to cool slightly, and stir into dried fruit & nut mixture.

In a small saucepan, heat up 1/3 cup regular brown sugar, 1/3 cup honey, 4 tablespoons butter, and some vanilla extract. Pour into dried fruit/nut/oat mixture, stir together, and spread in a baking dish that’s been lined with parchment and greased up in some way. Allow to sit for at least 3 hours before trying to cut them.

Peanut Buttery Craisin Granola Bars

Again, adapted from someone else’s recipe, as follows:

Combine the following in a bowl:

1 1/3/ cup rolled oats

1/3 cup oat flour (I made by pureeing 1/3 cup oats in the blender)

dash of salt and cinnamon

2-3 cups of dried fruit and nuts (I used slivered almonds, craisins, and sunflower seeds)

Then, combine about 1/2 cup plain sugar, 1/3 cup peanut butter, some vanilla, 1/4 cup honey, 2 tablespoons dark corn syrup, and 6 tablespoons melted butter in another bowl. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients, stir together, and place in a baking dish lined with parchment and greased up in some way (I prefer butter or cooking spray). Cook at 350 for 25-30 minutes, and allow to cool for at least 3 hours before removing and trying to cut.

I can tell you from personal experience, both are just fine crumbled up into yogurt and/or consumed by the handful. No more store-bought granolas for me, unless it’s an emergency.

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