Before I came up with this healthy homemade granola bars recipe, I would spend every weekday morning yelling “you’re going to miss the bus!” at the top of my lungs while my kids scrambled to find their shoes, coats and books. If they got any breakfast in at all, it was a store bought granola bar during the thirty second car ride to the bus stop. Sound familiar?
But in my mind, a store bought granola bar is worse than having nothing at all. Most of these “healthy” bars contain so many ingredients – half of which you don’t recognize – that the manufacturer has to make the print so tiny you can barely even read the ingredient list. On top of that, they’re usually loaded with carbohydrates and sugar. No thanks.
I set out on a mission to come up with a healthy granola bar recipe that contains fiber, protein, omega 3’s, antioxidants, and uses a relatively low glycemic sweetener. The result is a delicious, chewy bar that my kids will happily eat in the morning and that I can feel good about giving them.
The beauty of a homemade granola bar is you can tailor it to your taste. Maybe swap the chocolate for dried cranberries or cherries… the possibilities are endless.
Sometimes, instead of adding salt to my mixture I like to sprinkle Maldon flaky sea salt on parchment paper and then lay the warm, freshly cut granola bars on top so the salt sticks to the bottom. The sweet and salty combination is irresistible. I usually use dark chocolate because of the health benefits, but my kids really love the peanut butter and semi-sweet chocolate chip combination the best.
- 1 cup rolled oats, toasted
- 1/2 cup almonds or walnuts, finely chopped and toasted
- 1 1/2 cups puffed brown rice, or puffed kamut cereal
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate (70%), or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
- 1/4 cup creamy almond butter or peanut butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Toast rolled oats and chopped nuts for 10-15 minutes until fragrant. Let cool.
- In a large bowl, mix together brown rice syrup, almond butter (or peanut butter), flaxseed, vanilla and salt.
- Combine rolled oats, nuts, puffed rice and chocolate. Add dry ingredients to the brown rice syrup mixture, and mix until syrup is evenly distributed. You will need to use your hands for this!
- Transfer mixture to the parchment lined baking tray. Use a rolling pin to flatten the mixture to a thickness of 1/2 inch, and a bench scraper (see my top ten kitchen gadget post) to shape it into a rectangle. If you don't have a bench scraper, you can use a ruler or other object with a straight side.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes (12 minutes for a chewier bar and 15 minutes for a little more crunch).
- Let cool for ten minutes, and then cut into bars (by pushing down, not across) while still warm and pliable with a bench scraper or knife. Use your bench scraper to push in the sides of the bars to shape if crumbly. Store in an airtight container.