Are you bored of eating store-bought, preservative-rich, and bland-tasting granola bars? Then a homemade granola recipe is something you must try. You will notice a drastic difference between the store-bought and homemade variants. Take, for instance, the taste. Homemade granola gives you the option of using the ingredients of your choice with the end result that’s nothing short of satisfying. Moreover, they’re chewy, tasty, and quick healthy snacks, with no added sugar or other harmful additives.
Homemade Granola Ingredients: What You Need
If you are not careful in choosing your ingredient mix for your homemade granola bars, it might end up being more unhealthy than a candy bar, according to studies. Apart from being delicious, granola bars made with the right ingredients can improve your overall health as they are rich in fiber content. High-fiber snack bars can help with weight loss, metabolism, and diabetes. Also, they make you feel full and, in turn, help reduce the risk of obesity. Thus, the benefits of a homemade granola bar are enough to convince anyone to try it.
Granola ingredients are very easy to find at your local supermarket. This recipe is flexible, so you may add or remove items as you like. Granola bars stand on top of the list of healthy snack ideas, as the ingredients are extremely healthy, making it an excellent substitute for breakfast, as well.
First, you must collect the dry ingredients. These include oats; chocolate chips; nuts like pecans, pistachios, almonds, and peanuts; and dried fruits such as raisins, shredded coconuts, dates, and cherries. To give your granola an added nutritional punch, you may also consider adding chia seeds. A dash of cinnamon, pumpkin spice, or ginger powder can bring out a lot of flavor in your granola bar. The dried fruits will make granola bars deliciously chewy, while the oats serve as good energy boosters.
Next, you need your wet ingredients. These act as a glue for all the dry ingredients and also add a lot of essential nutrition to your bar. You will need some peanut butter, honey, unrefined vanilla extract, water, milk, coconut oil, and maple syrup. Of course, you can add other flavor-boosting wet ingredients as well, but make sure your mix does not become too thin.
Homemade Granola Recipe
Although the quantities of ingredients you add to your granola bar can vary according to your preferred taste and texture, here is a tried-and-true mix that is sure to offer excellent results.
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- ¼ cup dried fruits
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp water or milk if the batter gets too dry
- Take a blender and add all dry ingredients. Blend these ingredients until everything is powdery and well mixed.
- In a saucepan, melt coconut oil, and then add a bit of maple syrup while constantly stirring. Next, add vanilla extract slowly, and add peanut butter at the end. Mix these ingredients well until they adopt a smooth texture.
- Add the wet ingredients to your dry ones. The combined mixture should be moist and smooth. If it’s too dry, try adding either water or milk until you obtain a smooth texture.
- Pour the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking pan. Cover it with another sheet of parchment paper to avoid sticking with your fingers, and then press it down properly to flatten the dough all the way into the corners. Make sure the surface is perfectly flat, otherwise your bars will come out uneven and lumpy.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Bake it for 25 minutes, until the granola looks dark and golden in color. Take the pan out and let it cool, then freeze the mixture for at least an hour.
- After freezing, cut it into bars and enjoy!
In case you don’t have an oven or want a no-bake granola option, here is a short six-minute Youtube video with a great no-bake granola bars recipe.
A Few Tips for Granola Bars
While making granola bars at home is easy, here are a few tricks that you can use to make it even better. These tips can also apply to homemade protein bars.
- If you don’t like crunchy granola bars, try making them chewier by adding flaxseed meal in the ingredients. But, if you do like them crunchy, bake them again ten minutes after cutting the bars. You can customize the texture and crunch level of homemade granola anyway you prefer.
- Adequate cooldown time is essential for granola bars to settle down and achieve the right texture, so you should definitely stop yourself from digging in for a few hours. If you eat it too early, the mixture might fall apart and melt in your hands. It can get a bit messy, and you certainly want to avoid that situation.
- To make granola bars healthier, try using gluten-free ingredients such as gluten-free certified oats, brown rice syrup, and quinoa. Make sure to read the labels for each ingredient before adding it to the recipe to ensure it does not contain any gluten.
- Try not to deviate too much from the above-mentioned quantities of the basic ingredients, especially oats and other grains, dry fruits, and sweeteners. The type of fat added can also impact the taste of the homemade granola bar, so stick with adding coconut oil or vegan/nut butter.
- Experiment with different combinations to get your desired taste and nutrition value. For instance, almonds, dried cherries, and chocolate can be great additions to your recipe. You may also consider adding shredded coconut, peanut butter, and chocolate chips. All in all, the possibilities are endless.
A Delicious Snack You Can Have All The Time
Homemade granola bars offer a great substitute for sugary snacks. They provide you with a load of energy to get through the day. They have a flexible recipe that gives you the freedom to adjust the ingredient combination, making bars that are suitable for all members of your family. You can make them crunchy or chewy, sweet, gluten-free, and aligned with any other taste preference you may have.
The best part? You can make them in the comfort of your home and ensure they contain only safe ingredients. The ingredients will be under your control. You can increase the quantity of anything and still end up with a delicious snack. Not to mention the bars can be stored for up to seven days without spoiling. So, the next time you need a snack, just grab your homemade granola and you will be good to go.