>> Monday, October 12, 2009
Flu, cold (both weather and head), and company - all in the same week! Because of that, I'm whipping out an old favorite for Meatless Monday today - Chewy Granola Bars.
This recipe is a favorite in my house. Better yet, I've had several friends make this recipe, and everyone has loved it! I started making these bars after discovering HFCS in my son's favorite granola bars. Lots of premade granola bars also have partially hydrogenated oil as an ingredient. You know what that means? Trans fat! These bars are super easy to make and just as tasty as store-bought bars, in my opinion. (A caveat, though...don't expect these to taste quite like store-bought granola bars! They aren't as sweet and stick as most store-bought bars.)
I like that I can control the ingredients that go into the bars. I like to add just enough chocolate chips to make it appealing to my son. You could always skip the chocolate and add dried blueberries or raisins or your favorite dried fruit - or add some dried fruit in addition to the chocolate chips. And I often add a little wheat germ in place of flax meal. Both are great additions that boost the nutritional value of the bars a bit without appreciably changing the taste or texture.
Give these bars a try! Easy and delicious!
Chewy Granola Bars
3 cups rolled oats (I used quick oats for a finer texture, but coarser oats would be fine too)
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup and 3 TBSP butter, softened
1/3 cup honey
3 TBSP and 1 and 3/4 tsp packed brown sugar
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips (or more if you'd like)
3 TBSP (or more! I think that it could handle more.) flaxseed meal or wheat germ (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 F. Lightly grease a 9"x13" pan.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking soda, vanilla, butter, honey, and brown sugar (and flaxseed meal or wheat germ if using). Stir in the chocolate chips and any other additions.
Firmly press mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 325 F for 20 min or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 min and then cut into bars. Let bars cool completely in pan before removing or serving. On hot summer days, might want to store in the fridge so that they're not as crumbly and the chocolate doesn't melt.