Homemade Granola Bars
Homemade granola bars are a wholesome and customizable snack that you can make with your favorite ingredients. Here we have a basic recipe for homemade granola bars customize it to fit your taste.
Line an 8x8-inch (20x20 cm) baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang on the sides for easy removal.
In a large skillet over medium heat, toast the oats and nuts/seeds, stirring occasionally until they become fragrant and lightly golden. This should take about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Add the chopped dried fruits and any optional add-ins (chocolate chips, spices, protein powder) to the bowl with the toasted oats and nuts. Mix well.
In a saucepan over low heat, combine the honey or maple syrup, nut butter, vanilla extract, and salt (if using). Stir until the mixture is combined and slightly runny. Be careful not to overheat.
Pour the sweetened nut butter mixture over the dry ingredients. Stir well until everything is evenly coated and sticks together.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan. Use a spatula or your hands to press it down firmly and evenly into the pan.
Place the pan in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or until the granola bars have set and become firm.
Once set, use the parchment paper overhang to lift the slab of granola out of the pan. Place it on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut it into bars or squares of your desired size.
Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, or in the refrigerator for longer freshness.
- Use high-quality oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and sweeteners. Fresh and good-quality ingredients will enhance the flavor and texture of your granola bars.
- Ensure that the wet ingredients (honey, nut butter, etc.) are evenly mixed with the dry ingredients (oats, nuts, etc.). This helps bind the bars together and ensures a consistent texture.
- Line your baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang on the sides. This makes it easier to lift the bars out of the pan and cut them into even portions.
- When you transfer the mixture into the pan, press it down firmly with the back of a spatula or a piece of parchment paper. This compaction will help the bars hold together.
- Let the bars cool completely before cutting them. This helps them set and firm up.
- Don't hesitate to get creative with flavor add-ins. Add ingredients like chocolate chips, dried fruits, spices, or extracts to customize the taste of your granola bars.
- Toasting the oats and nuts before mixing them with other ingredients can enhance their flavor and provide a nice crunch to your bars.
- Adjust the sweetness, saltiness, and texture of the bars to your liking. If you prefer sweeter bars, add more honey or a sweetener of your choice. If you like a salty-sweet combo, sprinkle a bit of sea salt on top.
- While honey and nut butter are common binding agents, you can experiment with alternatives like maple syrup, agave nectar, or brown rice syrup for different flavors.
- Consider your portion size when cutting the bars. Smaller bars are great for snacking, while larger ones can serve as a quick breakfast.
- f your bars seem crumbly when you first cut them, try chilling them in the refrigerator for a short time before slicing. This can help firm them up.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can make nut-free granola bars by omitting nuts and using seeds, such as sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds, as a replacement. You can also increase the quantity of dried fruits, oats, or other ingredients to maintain the desired texture and flavor.
To make gluten-free granola bars, ensure that all your ingredients are certified gluten-free, including the oats, as cross-contamination can occur. Use gluten-free oats and check the labels of any other ingredients for potential sources of gluten.
Yes, you can make vegan granola bars by using plant-based sweeteners like maple syrup or agave nectar and substituting honey with alternatives like brown rice syrup. Choose vegan-friendly nut butters or omit them if you prefer. Be sure to check the ingredients of any add-ins for animal products.
To prevent granola bars from crumbling, make sure to press the mixture firmly into the baking pan before cooling.
Yes, you can easily customize the flavor of your granola bars by adding ingredients like cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla extract, or flavored extracts. Adjust the quantities to suit your taste and experiment with different flavor combinations.
Yes, homemade granola bars are a great addition to kids' lunches or snacks. You can customize them to your child's taste preferences and dietary restrictions. Be mindful of potential allergens if sending them to school or daycare.