Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

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From www.foodfanatic.com, by Meaghan Mountford
Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars Photo

My children are shamelessly addicted to those Quaker chewy chocolate chip granola bars. It’s not enough that I put one in their lunch boxes. For my three-year-old, it’s her go-to every time she has even a hint of hunger.

And only the chewy chocolate chip bars. Not the chocolate coated, not the peanut butter, not even another brand, because (my) children are the least flexible creatures on this planet.

Given I like to at least have some semblance of control in their lives, I thought I’d have a go at making my own. I’ve tried something similar before. These banana oatmeal bars have even more healthy stuff jammed in, but bananas are on shaky ground in my house.

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars Picture

But these. Oh my goodness. These granola bars are easy to make and taste just like the Quaker ones. And I can control the sugar that goes in there. Also, I snuck in some flax seed meal. Also, there is no corn syrup anywhere in these.

The granola bars got the seal of approval from my daughter. She ate two while I was photographing them and I had to use all my powers of verbal manipulation to keep her away so I could finish taking pictures. Equally important (or more?), I love them and now I have a new favorite snack.

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars Image

You can easily play around with this recipe and try substituting wheat germ for the flax seed meal. Or keep out both. (But really, you can’t taste it at all, so why not? I have a habit of adding flax seed and wheat germ to food – it’s even in my homemade Cookie Crisp.) Try adding peanut butter or dried fruit, or whatever you adore.

A couple notes about the recipe: I toasted the oatmeal for a few minutes in the oven, as I think this enhances the flavor, but it’s optional. Make sure you use the Quick 1-Minute oats, too, and not the Old Fashioned. The latter are too chewy for this recipe.

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars Pic

These bars were quite thick, so I may try and use a larger baking dish next time and press the mixture more thinly. And bonus, that means more granola bars to enjoy! 

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Homemade Chewy Granola Bars Recipe

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups quick cooking oatmeal
  • 5 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 1/4 cup flax seed, optional
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Line an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the oats on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 5 minutes, or just until the oats start to brown. (This step is optional.)
  3. Place the coconut oil, honey and brown sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a low boil, stirring frequently, and let cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, place the oats, rice cereal, flax seed (if using) and salt and stir to mix.
  5. Scrape the sugar and honey mixture into the bowl with the oats and cereal. Stir very well.
  6. When the mixture is cool enough not to melt the chocolate chips, stir in the mini chocolate chips.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish and use your hands to firmly press the mixture into the dish, flattening the top evenly. If the mixture is sticky, wet your hands.
  8. Place the baking dish in the refrigerator for one hour, or until firm. Cut into rectangles and store at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap. 

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