I wanted to make a hearty and healthy snack that was easy to make. I decided on granola bars because they are healthy and portable. I read tons of recipes but couldn’t find one that had ingredients that I liked until I stumbled upon Ina Garten‘s recipe. I substituted and cut out a few ingredients but overall, all the ingredients were natural. I liked that Ina’s recipe calls for honey instead of molasses. These granola bars were so addictive! I ate one for breakfast everyday for a week and had to start giving them away to some friends because I was in danger of eating the entire pan by myself. They were perfectly chewy. They didn’t have a distinct flavor like cranberry or apricot but I was ok with that. On a side note, you really have to let the granola bars sit for 2 – 3 hours after they bake for the granola bars to come together. If you don’t, they will fall a part. Now that I found this recipe, there’s really no going back to the store bought granola bars.
- 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
- 1/2 cup toasted ground flax seed
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper. Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
2. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the ground flax seed. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
3. Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oat mixture.
4. Add the apricots and cranberries.
5. Stir well.
6. Pour the mixture into a prepared pan. Lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown.
7. Cool for 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares.