This ranks among my very favorite things to make - yummy, chewy granola bars. I can't make any claim to this recipe - the original source was my very favorite food blog - Smitten Kitchen. Her recipe for
is so good!
But of course as you may know by now, I can't just leave a good recipe alone. But I'd highly encourage you to try hers first, and then adapt it as you like. She says in her notes that it's probably the most flexible recipe she's ever posted - and it is very flexible, which is one of the top criteria for a recipe to be a favorite of mine!
Here's what I've been doing to them:
- slightly more oats, and I like thick rolled oats
- err on the side of less sugar, she says 1/2 to 1/3, and I only use 1/2. I've also been using brown sugar.
- instead of oat flour I add 1/2 cup of wheat germ and 1/2 cup of ground flax
- I personally prefer mine to be less nutty - so I generally do less nuts and more fruit, or sometimes even more oats.
- Honey instead of corn syrup
I personally prefer to cut these in more of a bar shape, rather than the squares that she does. And I've found that they stay together a bit better if you press them down a bit after they've come out of the oven.
As for flavor combinations - one of my favorites is dried apricots and almonds. But I've done these with all combinations of dried fruit and different nuts, and sometimes add coconut. I've left out nuts altogether and used sunflower seed butter instead of the nut butter, and then these can be a nut free snack to send to school.
These are a super filling snack, I ate tons of them when I was pregnant and nursing. I don't do these much for myself these days because they can tend to pack a lot of calories in a small package - but they are a great thing to make for a friend - I recently made a couple batches for a friend who is on bed rest with twins, and for hers I added even more nuts and some extra peanut butter, to pack in some extra good fats and protein for those growing babies. That batch came out a little more crumbly than usual, perhaps I went a little overboard on the nuts. But they were good. And an added bonus from that experiment - I took all the crumbled bits, spread them out on a cookie sheet and put them back in the oven to toast a bit - and made a very good granola.