Customizable granola bars

granola bars - title
Sorry to start this off with a pet peeve, but… Why is soy lecithin in so many products?

I actually know the answer and it has to do with making a product easier to process on commercial equipment.    There are other options, such as sunflower lecithin. You may wonder why I am ranting about soy in a posting about granola bars.  Many brands of bars have soy in them.

I was hoping I could just whip up my own granola bars at home and guess what? They are super easy and fun to make. The advantage of making your own is you can pick your flavoring, your nut butter, if you use one at all, and you can tailor them to meet your specific needs.

And I will soon post an amazing recipe for homemade granola!!!

Ingredients:

Option 1: Crunchy Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Yield:  16 bars
Preparation time:  20 minutes
Baking time: 25 minutes

¾ cup salted dry –roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
3 ½ cups Gluten-free old fashioned oats
¼ cup   canola oil
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup   honey
2 tablespoons   peanut butter
½ cup or 3 ½ ounces brown sugar
1 teaspoon   vanilla
¾ teaspoon   cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger

Option 2:  Almond Granola Bars

Same as above but use almonds instead of peanuts and toast them before chopping them. And use almond butter instead of peanut butter.

Option 3: Nut-free Granola Bars

Same as above but use GF crispy rice cereal instead of the nuts and omit the peanut butter.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees, Line a 13 x 9 baking pan with foil sling and oil lightly.

Place oil and oats in large skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes.  Transfer the toasted oats to a bowl with the nuts and salt and stir well.

Place honey and brown sugar and peanut butter, if using, into the skillet and simmer gently over medium-low heat, stirring often, until sugar is fully dissolved, about 5 minutes. Off the heat stir in vanilla and cinnamon and ginger.

granola bars - stovetop

Working quickly, stir the hot honey mixture into the oat/nut mixture until thoroughly combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Place a piece of oiled waxed paper, oily side down, over the mixture in the 13 x 9 pan and using your spatula on top of the wax paper, pack very firmly into an even layer.  You may also use an oiled spatula to press down evenly, in lieu of oiled wax paper.

Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.

granola bars - in pan

Let granola cool for 10 minutes, and then remove it from the dish using the sling and cut into 16 bars.  Let cool completely before serving.

The bars can be stored in an airtight container, between layers of waxed paper to prevent sticking for up to 1 week.

You can add cut-up dried fruits, other seeds or nuts to the mixture before it gets combined with the hot honey mixture.

As seen on Positive Kitchen.
Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

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