Chewy Granola Bars

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So even though passing out at work the other day wasn’t due to low blood sugar, it was a good reminder to take a step back and see how I could make my days a little easier to get through.

One of the most glaringly obvious things missing was snacks. It’s funny—nutrition is my “business” so to speak, but my first few weeks of the internship were a great example of forgetting your own rules apply to you. I’m always telling people to do what works for them, but there I was, thinking, “Well gee, everyone else seems to be fine going so long between meals—maybe I just need to get used to it?” Hah, no. Now I realize that actually, most of my fellow interns keep a little something in their lab coat pockets to keep them going, and after a few days doing the same, I noticed an improvement in my energy levels, mood and work performance. Duh, Jess.

So this weekend, I used some of the dried fruit and things my mom bought me to make something that would be delicious, healthy, and portable. Working from this recipe, I whipped up a batch of chewy granola bars packed with dried fruit, oats, and other goodness. You could easily adapt this to suit your own preferences, but here’s what I threw into mine.

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 c rolled oats
  • 1/3 c vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ~3 cups chopped dried fruit (I used a mix of prunes, apricots and cherries)
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp melted margarine (I’d have preferred butter but am trying to use up a tub of Earth Balance—coconut oil would be great too)
  • 1 tbsp water

Directions:

whoops, how did that get upside down?
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl (including fruit). In a separate bowl (I did it right in the measuring cup I melted the margarine in), whisk together the wet ingredients.
  3. Add wet to dry and stir until well mixed. Pour mixture into the baking dish and press down until it takes the shape of the pan. You can use the flat edge of a spoon to do this or wrap your hand in plastic wrap and press down. Whatever works.
  4. Bake 30-40 minutes until the edges start to brown. Remove from oven. The bars will still look chewy—this is good. They’ll set as they cool, trust me.
  5. Allow bars to cool in pan a few moments and then lift parchment out and place on a rack to finish cooling. Wait until the bars are completely cool to cut into squares.

Do you make your own granola bars?  What would you want in a perfect granola bar? 

5 thoughts on “Chewy Granola Bars

    Nancy Trim said:
    March 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Jess you are reading my mind! Coming off a hospital stay it is more important than ever to make sure I keep my energy level stable. I wrote a list of things I plan to learn to prepare and on the top of the list is granola bars. Thanks so much for the granola bar recipe. I am so excited!

      Jess responded:
      March 25, 2012 at 4:11 pm

      Awesome! I was really happy with how these came out—they’d also be great if you added some nuts. If me & tree nuts got along, I’d definitely have thrown some chopped almonds in there. Hope you’re feeling good. xoxo

    Big Mike's World said:
    March 25, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    That has to be the best looking granola recipe I have ever seen. I will be making those tomorrow! Thanks for sharing…

    A new week, a new rotation | Keeping It Real Food said:
    March 26, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    […] Keeping It Real Food Keeping it Real—Real Life, Real Food Skip to content HomeAboutClipsRecipesWhat I Ate Wednesday ← Chewy Granola Bars […]

    What I Ate Wednesday #64 | Keeping It Real Food said:
    June 27, 2012 at 10:30 am

    […] yogurt w/ cocoa powder & granola bar […]

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