I am fascinated, perhaps borderline obsessed, with all things granola (except for Kellog’s version, and other such mimicry). True story. I’m not the first, and like my fellow addicts, I’m always in search of the perfect granola bar. It’s a miracle food, taking trail mix or gorp to the next level. Sweet, crunchy, savory, store-able, pack-able, useful on all occasions; hitting the trail, road trips, snacks in the classroom, snacks at work, breakfast, dessert, gift bags, energy-boosting, and downright satisfying.
And no one will ever say “ewww, what are you eating!” I promise they won’t even call you a hippy. It’s a surefire way to win over your teacher, your best friend, and make more best friends. It’s also a good way to pack a hungry belly with high-powered nutrition.
A fellow Ithacan blog, “Eggs on Sunday“, inspired this recipe for a tropical twisted granola bar. This is so easy peasy it will knock your socks off! I’ll include a few easy variations on flavor.
Emma’s Test Kitchen: Oomph Bars for kids (or grown-ups)
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 18 bars 1x
- 2/3 cup quick rolled oats
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 3 tablespoons flax seeds, whole or ground
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Tropical Twist: 1 cup raw cashew pieces, 1 cup dried pineapple pieces, 1/3 cup shredded coconut
- Sweetheart: 1/2 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweetened, or try carob chips), 1/2 cup walnut pieces (toasted or raw), 1 cup dried cherries
- Harvest Delight: 1/2 cup almond pieces (toasted or raw), 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (toasted or raw), 1 cup dried cranberries
- Apple Pie: 1 cup dried apple pieces, 1/2 cup crystallized ginger pieces, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (toasted or raw)
- Gorp: 1 cup raisins, 1/2 cup peanuts or peanut chips, 1/2 cup pretzel pieces
The Sticky and Sweet:
- 6 teaspoons butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- optional: 1/3 cup nut butter to Gorp, or 1/3 cup Nutella to the Sweetheart
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- 2. Grease a square or circle baking pan with the wrapper from your butter, about 9 in. in diameter. I only had circle ones (which leaves nice ends for crumbling into my morning yogurt).
- 3. Mix the Basics and Flavor in a big mixing bowl.
- 4. On the stovetop, melt the butter and honey, stirring continuously. When they are melted and mixed, add the remaining Stick & Sweet ingredients, and whisk with a fork until thoroughly mixed. (If you are adding a nutbutter, add to the pot and mix in).
- 5. Slowly pour into your mixing bowl and stir thoroughly until there are no dry oats and flour to be seen.
- 6. Fill your baking pan about 1 in. high. Press firmly with the back of a spatula.
- 7. Bake in the oven for approximately 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
- 8. Take out and let stand until thoroughly cooled! Patience is of the essence. If you cut too soon, this will merely crumble into granola bars. The best is to let cool over night on the counter top and cut in the morning. Or, let cool to room temperature, and then set in fridge for a couple hours before cutting.
- 9. Bars can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or a big mason jar on the counter for easy grab-and-go.
Allergens: dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat