Friday, April 29, 2011

Chewy Granola Bars

My appetite has become more and more ferocious as my pregnancy progresses and I'm always in need of snacks on-the-go.  I used to have "feeding times" around 7:30am, 10:30am, noon, 3:00, 5:30 etc.  In recent weeks, however, my "feeding times" have become closer...and closer.  I am now having them about every 1.5-2 hours, and I'm sure during the third trimester it will be a constant thing.  It never fails that every time someone walks in my office I either have food in my mouth, or on its way to my mouth.  The best is when I have a huge spoonful of yogurt with the cup right underneath my chin for easier that's embarrassing.  Can you say "deer in headlights" look?  The good news is that I think my coworkers are getting used to it.  The bad news is that I'm running out of yummy and quick snack ideas.  Enter Food Network Magazine's "50 after-school snacks" pamphlet.  It was a God-send.

There are so many scrumptious and easy recipes in there, I could just drool thinking of them.  The one that caught my eye right away were the granola bars.  I used to buy the chewy quaker oatmeal granola bars but I have started to become more and more turned off by prepackaged goods and their ingredients.  They just don't taste good to me anymore, not to mention I get nervous when I can't pronounce all ingredients.  So I've been on the lookout for a quick and easy recipe.  These bars and me were meant to be.  

The recipe is SO easy and truly mess free that I just had to share.  I have made two different kinds now, and I will continue to experiment adding little things here and there.  In my usual fashion I have slightly altered the recipe from the original, so that's the one I'll share with you.  Then turn out soft and chewy, but hold up well enough to stay in bar form.  I knew that they were a winner when my husband tried them and requested them in cinnamon raisin form, chocolate chip, and a combination of both. (Sounds like a man pregnancy craving to me)

These are the Oatmeal Raisin Ones
Chewy Granola Bars
2 T butter
1/3 C honey
1/3 C brown sugar
pinch of salt
2 C oatmeal (I used the old fashioned oats)
1 C chopped nuts and dried fruit (I used a trail mix of almonds, cranberries, and sunflower seeds)
2 T flax seed (the recipe called for wheat germ but I LOVE flax seed)

Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Add honey, brown sugar, and salt, stir to combine.  Take off heat and stir in oatmeal, nuts and fruit, and flax seed.  Press into a very well greased (I use Pam) 8x8 glass dish.  Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.  Allow to cool completely then cut into bars.  I then wrap them individually in foil and keep in a plastic bag.

Note: If they aren't baked enough they may be a little too soft and have a hard time conforming to a bar shape without falling apart when you go to eat them.  To remedy, after wrapping the bar in foil, press together on all sides to help solidify the shape.

Alternate Recipes: Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and replace the 1 C chopped nuts & fruit with 1 C raisins.  Deeeelicious!  Greg likes this one way more than the cranberry ones I made.  If you want chocolate chip, I would just replace the 1 C nuts & fruit with 1 C mini chocolate chips.  No cinnamon. 

There are a multitude of different varieties you can make with this simple recipe as your base.  Please share if you make one you love!

Have fun!  Change it up!  Enjoy!


  1. NOTE: At the beginning of the instructions it should read, "Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add HONEY, brown sugar, and salt, stir to combine." Sorry! I'm tired and missed that one, haha.

  2. While I appreciate the fact that you're trying to keep them somewhat healthy, I can't help but picture them with Reese's Pieces, M&Ms, butterscotch chips, etc....