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5 Fast granola bar recipes

Claire is an aspiring nutritionist (and soon to be culinary student) with a serious addiction to bacon, wine, goat cheese and online shopping. She is recently married to a social media guru who loves *almost* everything she conjures up. ...

Homemade bars that are easy and healthy

Can your family never get enough of those chewy, chocolaty granola bars you buy at the store? Next time they ask for one in their lunchbox, why not surprise them with one of these healthy, easy and even more delicious granola bars instead?

Easy Granola bars

These bars not only taste better than the ones you buy, they are much healthier, too, and contain no pesky preservatives or ingredients you can't pronounce. These are perfect for school lunches, after-school snacks or anytime eating! You can just pop them in a Ziploc bag and throw them in your child's backpack. But trust us, your kids won't be the only ones gobbling them up!

Easy chocolate chip granola bars

Serves 12

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place oats in a baking dish and bake for five minutes. Stir the oats and then bake an additional five minutes, or until toasted. Let cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, heat butter, honey, brown sugar and vanilla in a small saucepan. Stir the mixture until melted and sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Mix the butter and sugar with the oats, stirring until all of the oats are coated. Mix in half of the chocolate chips.
  4. In a foil-lined baking dish, press the granola mixture down for at least one minute so it's hard (this will make sure it stays together when you cut it). Sprinkle with additional chocolate chips and chill for about an hour. Once chilled, carefully remove the foil from the pan and cut into squares.

Peanut and Nutella granola bars

Recipe yields about 12

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons Nutella
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place oats and peanuts in a baking dish and bake for about 10 minutes, stirring after five minutes.
  2. In a saucepan, melt Nutella, butter, brown sugar and vanilla together over medium heat. Once sugar has dissolved and mixture is melted, pour over oats and peanuts. Pour the mixture into a foil-lined cake pan and press the mixture down hard for about a minute. (We used a plastic spatula for this).
  3. Chill bars for at least an hour, or until set.

Homemade Nature's Valley granola bars

Slightly adapted from Half Baked Harvest.

Recipe yields about 12

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup rice cereal
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a square cake pan with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, cereal, oats, salt and baking soda together.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, honey, vanilla and brown sugar together until sugar has fully dissolved. Pour the butter mixture over the oats mixture, and toss to coat.
  4. Press the oats mixture into the foil and push hard for about a minute (so it's easier to cut when they are done baking).
  5. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden. Let cool completely (about 20 minutes). Once cooled, cut into bars.

Dark chocolate & almond granola bars

Serves 12

Ingredients:

  • 1-2/3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup mini dark chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13-inch cake pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix all of the ingredients together. Pour mixture into the pan and press down with a plastic spatula for at least a minute.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tops are golden. Let cool in pan and then cut into bars.

Cranberry, pistachio and cream cheese granola bars

Slightly adapted from Baking Serendipity.

Yields about 16 bars

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups oats (we used rolled)
  • 1/4 cup flax seed
  • 1-1/2 cups pistachios, shelled and chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened (so it's easily spreadable)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the oats, flax seed and pistachios together. Place mixture in an oven-safe dish and bake until toasted, about 10 minutes (stirring halfway).
  2. In a saucepan, heat the honey, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and coconut oil together until melted and sugar is dissolved. Pour the mixture over the oats and nuts and stir to combine. Stir in the cranberries.
  3. Line a square cake pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Press down for at least a minute with a spatula. Spread the cream cheese over the bars and chill for at least an hour. Once chilled, cut into bars.

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