Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Homemade healthy granola bars...a recipe review

I have been perusing different granola bar recipes over time meaning to give them a try. Various ones I've seen had mixed reviews with texture issues and whatnot. I loved the way this simple healthy (all whole grain ingredients) this one sounded and motivated by needing something to take to cub scouts yesterday, I decided to give it a go. I was almost afraid to fail with little time that I almost just made oatmeal cookies instead.
Being the risk taker I am, I gave it a whirl. Let me tell you these are PERFECT! I loved them and so did all the kids (even K who doesn't like/eat granola bars). Z wanted one for dessert after dinner (I only let them have one at snack). Other than K, the other 3 usually have a granola bar for after school snack every day. I hate that either I have to spend a small fortune to get the organic/preservative free ones or succumb to Quaker Oats and their BHT and high fructose corn syrup. Not that we are perfectly avoiding these things...hey our grocery bill is incredible as it is without all the 'fancy' preservative free food (we are loyal to organic milk products though).

So with no further adieu, here is the recipe in my words from Super Healthy Kids (check out their site for other healthy kid food ideas).

Basic Granola Bars
2 C oats
1 C brown sugar
1 C whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C honey
And for my first batch, I added 1/3 C mini semi sweet choc chips

Mix all ingredients. Will be crumbly when mixed. Grease 11x13 pan. Press dough firmly in pan with bottom of measuring cup (it seems I've read reviews on homemade granola bars before where folks attested to the firmer it is packed the more successful they hold together when done so I packed it as tight as I could get it). Bake 325F for 20-23 mins til edges are browned. Let cool completely. Loosen edges and flip the whole thing out gently on a cutting board. Cut into strips. I got about 20 bars. Opt drizzle a tiny amount of white choc bark on tops.

I must say I am NOT a huge fan of whole wheat flour or honey as a sweetener so I was super skeptical. I didn't even care for the flour/honey smell as it was baking. But let me tell you! These are just as good as cookies! The downfall of these 'healthy' granola bars are they are not lacking in calories I'm sure, and they are quite addicting. But I feel much better letting my kids have one for snack than the boxed version. I am going to make several more pans today and keep a dozen in a air tight container and freeze the rest.
Oh and I did a small test sample of toffee topping. VERY yummy too...just sprinkled a little toffee chips on top. I'll probably make many more of these.

Oh and get creative with add ins...dried fruit (I think craisins would be divine), various chips, coconut, sunflower kernels and I'm going to add wheat germ to my next batches (for those who've never tried wheat germ it sounds pretty weird, but it has a pleasant nutty flavor and packs more nutrition).


Anonymous said...

yum! I've been wanting to make some granola bars...I'll have to try these out!

Katherine said...

These look so good, and healthy :) I;ll be trying some of these out..thanks for sharing :)

dbass said...

Was that supposed to be 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder and soda? I'm hoping so, because thats what we just used.

Deanna said...

Yes, it's tsp...sorry about that!

me said...

You are evil...for sharing this recipe! LOL I love them, my hubby loves them, my kids love them, they were delicious! Love your blog, Deanna, thanx!

Stella said...

Hi Deanna, I made these. I added an organic egg just because I was worried about the dryness (I know you said it would be crumbly). I haven't turned them out of the pan yet, but they look great. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I just made them and everyone loved them. For me they are too sweet so next time I will be reducing the amount of sugar.

I have a question, how do I store them? Do I leave them at room temperature or in the refrigerator?



Deanna said...

I store them in a air tight container in the pantry or on the counter for about a week (if they last that long), or I freeze them. :)

Cristina said...

great...Thanks again! :)

Anonymous said...

were making these granola bar for a health class and they look delicious.

Thanks for the recipe,
Karisa Alexa Daniel

P.S. they taste good

Anonymous said...

This looks soooo yummy!!!
I posted a link to it on my blog post.

Anonymous said...

Me and my sister tried your recipes but we changed it a little ,as we are both tri-athlets we need protein before a race so in stead of honey we used peanutbutter and 1/2 cup cashew and almonds and man it is so good we made the first batch on monday and had to make anther one on tursday and were hoping to make more before our tri this weekend.

Regina said...

This is great! My husband wants me to make some granola bars and this recipe will do it. We are going to add some nuts and dried fruits.

Anonymous said...

do you know how many calories these are?

Deanna said...

Sorry, I do not know how many calories these are.

Anonymous said...

just some advice to futer cooks of this recipe:do not add ingrediants such as granola to the top of the mixture once its in the pan, it doesnt stick with the rest!:)

Anonymous said...

How many mix ins (in cups/portion of cup)can you add in before it doesn't hold together properly. you said you did 1/3 cup of chocolate but we like a mix of different things

Deanna said...

I'm not sure about how much you can mix in. I think when I've done 2 separate things such as craisins and white choc chips I did about 1/3 C of each and it was fine.

Tracy said...

I just found your site by searching on google for health granola bar recipes. I cannot wait to try this recipe.
I try to give me kids healthy snacks. Store bought granola bars is filled with "stuff" I cannot pronounce. I am excited and will give you feedback on the results I have from my family!!

. said...

Hi Deanne. Long time, no speak :)

These look fab. I'm desperately trying to encourage more healthy snacking in the kids (and for us!) so these are a great option (the bonus being I think I have all this stuff in the cupboard already).

I've just done a quick recipe calculation online and thought you might find this interesting. Based on the basic recipe making 20 bars the nutritional values are approximated as follows:

Nutrition Facts

User Entered Recipe

20 Servings

Amount Per Serving

Calories 104.3

Total Fat 0.6 g

Saturated Fat 0.2 g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g

Monounsaturated Fat 0.4 g

Cholesterol 0.0 mg

Sodium 163.5 mg

Potassium 97.4 mg

Total Carbohydrate 31.5 g

Dietary Fiber 2.5 g

Sugars 16.7 g

Protein 1.8 g

Vitamin A 0.0 %

Vitamin B-12 0.0 %

Vitamin B-6 1.1 %

Vitamin C 0.1 %

Vitamin D 0.0 %

Vitamin E 0.5 %

Calcium 2.4 %

Copper 6.0 %

Folate 2.2 %

Iron 5.3 %

Magnesium 7.5 %

Manganese 40.9 %

Niacin 0.8 %

Pantothenic Acid 2.2 %

Phosphorus 8.7 %

Riboflavin 1.5 %

Selenium 0.3 %

Thiamin 7.9 %

Zinc 4.3 %

Definitley better than any shop bought bar I've seen with the benefit of knowing exactly what you're putting into the kids.

Thanks for the recipe hun.


Chelle said...

Hi, I just made these and they were delicious... But super crumbly. I'd like to give them another shot though, and had a couple questions. First, did you use instant or old-fashioned oats? And Stella, how did yours turn out after having added that egg? I think I will try that next time.

Deanna said...

Chelle, I use old fashioned oats since that is what we always have on hand. Did you press the mix into the pan firmly? I honestly think that is key, but never tried it with not doing it to know fr sure. Good luck trying again. :)


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