Family Favorite: No-Bake Granola Bars

It’s been a busy two days at the Hanson house and I feel like superwoman.  Here’s what I’ve done, in addition to diapering, feeding, and mothering two kids under the age of two while completing various daily house chores (Cleaning up after a road trip, laundry, dishes, paying bills, vacuuming, grocery shopping, etc, etc.):

1.  Set a loaf of sourdough bread to rise.

2.  Made real fruit popsicles — thanks to my sister for this one!

3.  Worked on some thank you notes.

4.  Set a batch of broth to cook.

5.  Prepped dinner for tonight:  one chicken bacon ranch pizza, and one pepper onion olive pepperoni pizza.  One crust will have sourdough starter in it, the other will not.  I want to compare them side by side.

6.  Made granola bars.

I’m planning do a post for each of those in the near future.  Here’s our favorite granola bar recipe to tide you over.  You’ll never go back to Quaker again.

Granola Bars

Ingredients:

1/2 c. liquid sugar — honey, molasses (did you know that blackstrap molasses is a good source of iron and calcium?), maple syrup — you pick

1/2 c. solid sugar — we use evaporated cane juice, brown sugar would work, too

1 cup of fat — butter or coconut oil, or a mix.  Today I did half butter, half peanut butter.

1 T. vanilla

3 cups of oats

2 cups of bulk.  Bulk is oats, ground flax seed, nuts, raisins, chocolate chips, spices, whatever you can dream up, go for it!

Method:

* If you’re using chocolate chips, put them in a container in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before hand so that they don’t melt so much when you mix them with the liquid.

1.  Set a saucepan to medium heat and put sugars in.  Let them cook until they bubble for 4-5 minutes.  If you have a candy thermometer, cook until they reach 250* — between the soft ball and hard ball  stage.

2.  While you’re waiting for the sugar to heat, put the oats and bulk ingredients into a bowl.  Mix thoroughly.

3.  Add your fats and vanilla to the boiling sugar.  Enjoy the bubbling sound the vanilla makes.  Stir to incorporate.

4.  Pour the liquid over the bulk, stir it up and mix it around.  Or mix it up and stir it around.  You pick.

5.  Press the granola as thin or as thick as you want into a pan as big or small as you want.

6.  Scrape the leftovers out of the bowl and eat.  Give the mixing spoon (if you’re brave) to your toddler.  Enjoy the quiet that ensues.

7.  Let the granola cool for a half hour or so, cut into bars, and enjoy!

Some suggested combinations:

Peanut butter chocolate

Pistachio cardamom chocolate chip

Molasses cinnamon raisin

Dried tropical fruit banana chip almond

Pecan cherry nutmeg

Chocolate coconut almond

This pan was: 1/2 c honey, 1/2 c evaporated cane juice, 1/2 c peanut butter, 1/2 c butter, 1 T vanilla, 3 c oats, 1 c ground flax meal, 1 c chocolate chips (which I forgot to freeze ahead of time...).

Deliciousness.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Family Favorites, Food

2 responses to “Family Favorite: No-Bake Granola Bars

  1. I tried this… I made a smore variety (honey, brown sugar, butter, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, oats, broken graham crackers.. I know… healthy). It was delicious, but very gooey. Any suggestions?

    • I’d say either add more oats or cook the syrup longer so that it hardens more upon cooling. Probably the latter. S’mores sound good! I have a recipe for marshmallow that I’ve been meaning to try. I just might have to now!