Confession: I LOVE oats. You can make so many delicious things with oats. Oatmeal, toasted granola, granola bars, muesli, muffins, scones, cookies…so many possibilities! And they’re super healthy and super filling. Win, win.
For the past YEAR I have been trying out different recipes to find the perfect granola bar. I wanted to find a recipe that was super healthy and that didn’t call for any white sugar. Maybe it’s just in my head…but anything with white sugar makes me want to stay far, far away. Especially if it’s in something for breakfast. I know myself well and that stuff is crazy addicting! My search was, in a word, unsuccessful. I made countless granola bars that never quite turned out the way I wanted. They were either too mushy, too dried out, or too bland. Thank God I have a husband that will eat almost anything.
I have some really good news! I found a recipe that flawlessly produces granola bar glory!
Here’s how it happened: We were in Lake Arrowhead last week and took a coffee break at the local cafe. I saw a big platter of granola bars on the front counter for sale. These granola bars had everything I was looking for…oats, dried fruit, nuts, coconut. Plus they looked like they had amazing texture – crunchy and chewy all at the same time. So, I did what any baker would do, I inquired of them to give me any of their special secrets. And to my surprise, the secret was quite simple. I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before: Barefoot Contessa. A total DUH moment. I immediately searched for her recipe online and there it was. My life is now changed.
These granola bars are sure to satisfy. I did change a couple of things here and there, but Ina has ended my search for the perfect granola bar. Honey is the main sweetener and everything is toasted for that extra kick! You can also substitute things according to any dietary restrictions if you wish and I still think they would turn out amazing. Plus, these bars are so fun to make and so visually applealing you can’t wait until they’re ready to eat!
You definitely wanna get on this recipe asap. Here is:
- Makes: 10 large granola bars
- 2 cups of oats (old-fashioned)
- 1 cup of almonds, sliced or whole (skin on is fine/other preferred nut is fine)
- 1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup of toasted wheat germ or almond meal
- 1/4 cup of whole flax seeds
- 3-4 Tbsp. of butter or coconut oil
- 2/3 cup of honey
- 1/4 cup of maple syrup or agave
- 2 tsp. of vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. of kosher salt
- 1/2 cup of pitted dates, chopped
- 1/2 cup of dried Turkish apricots, chopped
- 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
- 8×12 glass baking dish
- parchment paper
- If you want your almonds sliced and didn’t buy pre-sliced almonds like me, slicing your almonds by hand is the first and longest step. Put something fun on TV, or listen to my favorite podcast. Chop the Turkish apricots and dates also.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix together your oats, coconut and sliced almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and spread out the oat mixture evenly.
- Bake the oat mixture for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned and toasty. Make sure you check on the oat mixture and stir it around every few minutes. The smell is absolutely incredible! Reduce heat in oven to 300 degrees F.
- Transfer the oat mixture to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the wheat germ or almond meal and the flax seeds. (sunflower seeds might be good in there too!)
- Prepare an 8×12 glass baking dish by buttering it and lining it with parchment paper.
- Place the butter or coconut oil, maple syrup, honey, vanilla extract and kosher salt into a small saucepan. Heat it over medium until it boils. Remove from burner stirring constantly.
- Pour the sweet-glaze-goodness over the oat mixture and stir. Add your dried fruit and stir well to combine.
- Pour your granola bar mixture into the prepared baking dish. Spread it evenly.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. It will look golden and delicious! Let your granola bars cool completely before cutting/serving. ENJOY!!!
Please let me know if you have any questions! Do you have another granola bar recipe you love to use?