Dressed in my “Gram-glam,” which consists of fitted sweatpants with pockets, a soft t-shirt worn under a flannel shirt, and sheepskin boots, I grab a homemade granola bar in one hand while carrying my granddaughter in the other. Life is grab-and-go for me these days, but with a little planning I can still eat wholesome and tasty foods.
Homemade Granola Bars
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.
2. Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.
3. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
4. Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.
YIELD: 12 to 16 bars
1. Ingredients in this recipe can be easily substituted. For example, I substituted ground flax seed for the wheat germ and figs for the dates, because that is what I had on hand.
2. Despite packing the granola into the pan, these bars tend to fall apart. I recommend cutting them into smaller squares. Save any crumbs to sprinkle on yogurt.
3. I like how the edges are crunchy, so next time I will bake the whole pan a little bit longer.
4. I imagine if you didn’t press the granola into a pan and baked it as is, it would make a fabulous granola cereal.