I’ve been wanting to share this recipe with you for a while. If you don’t already make your own granola bars, you may want to add it to your 2016 resolutions. These bars are delicious, and they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and more. Plus, they are home made, which means they are free from any preservatives meant to keep food edible on a store shelf for months if not years, and they do not contain any artificial agents that leave an aftertaste or an artificial flavor. And finally, this recipe has a fourth or less of the amount of sugar normally found in commercial granola bars. Every time I pack these in my children’s lunch boxes, I feel I am doing something good in the world.
This recipe makes about 30 bars.
- 3 cups of rolled oats (you can substitute 1/4 cup with wheat germ).
- 2 cups of coarsely chopped nuts of your choice (almonds, pecans, cashews, peanuts, hazelnut, etc.). No need to roast them. Salted peanuts are ok, they can even add a great flavor to the mix.
- 1 cup of seeds of your choice (sesame, hemp, chia, pumpkin, sunflower, flax, etc.).
- 1 cup of dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips (If you like, you can also substitute 1/2 cup with dried fruit such as coconut, raisins, cherries, cranberry, dates, etc.).
- 1/4 cup of flour (whole wheat or all purpose)
- 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground ginger, and 1/2 tsp. all spice or nutmeg.
- 4 large or 5 regular egg-whites.
- 1/4 cup of canola oil or a nut oil of your choice or melted butter.
- 3/4 cup of light brown sugar. You can substitute 1/4 cup with honey.
The recipe is very simple. Once you have all you ingredients on your kitchen table, you need a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper, and two containers: a small one to beat the egg whites, and a big one (I use my 7 qt. mixing bowl) for everything else.
Preheat the oven at 350°F. In the big container, dump all your dry ingredients (oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, chocolate chips, flour, and spice) and give them a good toss. Then add the fat (the oil or butter). The fat is key because it brings moisture to the granola bar. Mix everything with a big spoon so that the fat coats all your ingredients. Now, in the smaller bowl, beat your egg whites with a whisk for about 1 minute until they become foamy. If you continue beating after this point, the egg whites will thicken, become opaque, and you might end up with a meringue. What we are looking for is a liquid to glue all your ingredients together. Combine the egg whites with the mix, then add your sugar. Mix well one last time.
Spread your mixture over your prepared baking sheet so as to cover the surface evenly. Try to form a rectangular shape about 1/2-inch thick. You can use another piece of parchment paper to smooth the top.
Bake for 35 minutes. Then remove from the oven and let rest on the parchment paper for at least 30 minutes before you start cutting them into bars.
When your granola bars are completely cooled, you can store them in an airtight container, separating layers with wax paper or pieces of the parchment paper you used in the baking.
I hope you will try this recipe. Thank you for reading my blog. I wish you a happy and a healthy New Year!