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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Homemade granola bars that sorta worked

The girls and I thought we’d be all adventurous and make our own granola bars. Sounded fun, maybe healthier than the store-bought ones, plus (and most importantly) we could put in exactly what we wanted.

So we looked at a few recipes on the internet and then mixed up our own concoction. They were really fun to make (Ro and Ree could do it all themselves) and tasted great! The only thing is that they were too crumbly, and I think I know how to fix that.

Here’s what we did (along with the two steps that I bet would’ve made these babies stick together really well):

1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease an 8” or 9” square pan.

2. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl:

  • 2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup roughly chopped dried blueberries (could use any type of dried fruit like apricots, raisins, cherries, cranberries, etc.)
  • 1 cup roughly chopped unsalted almonds
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ (if you’ve never bought this, like me, it’s located next to the oatmeal in the cereal aisle)
  • 1/2 cup flour (most recipes called for whole wheat flour, but we didn’t have any in the house so used white)
  • 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup mini marshmallows

3. Taste the mixture to make sure you didn’t forget any good stuff. Mmmm:

3. Transfer mixture to your greased pan. (After ours turned out too crumbly, I read that you need to really press them into the pan, we didn’t do this but will next time.)

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and slightly crispy on top. (Again, after getting crumbly bars, we read that you should really press them down into the pan after removing from oven. We’ll try it!)

5. Cool completely before cutting into bars. I saw on some sites that you should let them cool for hours before cutting, so don’t be like us and make sure you do that. Heh. Then wrap them up in saran wrap (if they don’t get snarfed up immediately) and use them for lunches, snacks, whatever.


If anyone has any ideas on how to make them stick together better, please share, because we are definitely doing this again. These little bars were delicious!


  1. I would use a little more honey or maple syrup. I love to make homemade granola!

  2. I am still (after 5 or 6 attempts) trying to find a non-crumbing recipe. Just a note, wheat germ is best stored in the fridge or freezer. It will get moldy on you otherwise. Not that I speak from experience or anything.

  3. 5 or 6 attempts?!! Oh man, I was envisioning perfect bars the second time. Hmmmm...

    I did put the wheat germ in the fridge though, whew.

  4. Use more liquid. Like honey or maple syrup or rice syrup. Yum!

  5. YUM! I'll have to give that a whirl. I'm loving those bangs by the way...everytime I see them I love them more! Cuteness!

  6. The kids and I made these a few weeks ago:


    Pro: They definitely weren't crumbly! Kids LOVED them!
    Con: On the sweet side. Next time I'd probably leave out the chocolate chips (gasp!) and substitute something else instead.

    I skipped the wheat germ completely, and used oat bran instead. You could also just put some the rolled oats in a food processor and use that in place of the wheat germ.

  7. You might consider adding peanut butter or almond butter to help bring it together . . .

  8. Anonymous9/10/2011

    They look delicious!

    I have found honey works better than syrup.

    On Martha Stewart's website, there's a good recipe for cookies/bars with quinoa - for even higher protein content and no gluten.

  9. Try cutting back a little on the total amount of dry ingredients (i.e. oats or flour), so that there's a greater wet to dry ratio. **Or, try using "quick" oats. I've used both quick oats and regular in my granola bar recipe. Although the bars turned out basically the same each time, I found that the ones with quick oats did better at sticking together. Also, no matter what type of oats you use, try "crumbling" them up a bit between the palms of your hands so that they're in smaller pieces (and will therefore better absorb moisture). *I also don't use flour in my granola bars.

  10. That sounds YUM! I love homemade stuff like that.

  11. That sounds YUM! I love homemade stuff like that.

  12. My recipe is a little different from yours. It's a no-bake one and uses peanut butter. It's super yummy and I'm happy to send it to you if you wish.

  13. These are on my to do list: http://smashedpeasandcarrots.blogspot.com/2011/08/no-bake-energy-bites-recipe.html

  14. Anonymous9/11/2011

    I would stick them together with yogurt or ice cream. :)

  15. There's one on my bento blog (try the dessert tag) that uses honey as a sweetener and to bind it all. Add what's called for then add more little by little till you get it sticky.

  16. I use this recipe but I sub some grape nuts for about 1 C of the granola and add some flax seed and then right before I put it in the pan add choc chips. But make sure to get it to a boil. I have also added agave to cut down on the corn syrup

    □ 1 1/2 c. light corn syrup
    □ 9 c. granola with raisins (my favorite - Quaker 100% natural with raisins, 2 lbs.)
    □ 2 c. peanut butter

    Butter baking pan 9x13. Heat corn syrup to boiling in 5 quart pan. Boil one minute only. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter until well blended. Stir in granola. Transfer quickly to pan and distribute evenly using damp spatula. Press very hard filling up corners and edges. Cover and cool 1 hour. Cut into bars. This recipe goes a long way and can easily be taken on trips. Store in covered container.

  17. These are absolutely the best granola bars we've ever made - and we've made a LOT!
    They stay together and they are super yummy.

  18. Try This recipe instead. ;) Of all the granola bars I've made over the years THIS ONE takes the cake. :D

  19. We make ours with honey, but we use a good bit more than you listed. I would add to yours, see if they stick better that way.

  20. Honey!!! :) M3- so cool- we have made them too. Ground Flaxseed Meal is great too!! :)

  21. Anonymous9/12/2011

    Glad you posted this. I am gonna try it. Love reading the comments and getting more granola recipes. Yum. Thanks. Come see us in Tahoe! love, Aunt Jane

  22. Anonymous9/12/2011

    Glad you posted this. I am gonna try it. Love reading the comments and getting more granola recipes. Yum. Thanks. Come see us in Tahoe! love, Aunt Jane

  23. OH YAY!!! I love a good recipe and I am gonna copy this one. Thanks for sharing. We are big granola fans in this house:)



  24. I find that if you really press them into the pan before you bake them, then again AFTER they are baked....they stick together better...a little more honey will help, and i sometimes use soft butter instead of melted...where I live, we can't send anything with nuts of any sort to school with the kids, but if you can then that works well too...