I discovered this recipe on A Life Less Sweet and we LOVE it. The blogger is a stay-at-home mom with a PhD in chemical engineering. She is trying to revamp the way her family eats and avoid HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). I enjoy checking out what she has to say from time to time, and I really wanted to share this bar recipe with you.
It looks like a lot of ingredients, but it is SO super easy to put together. The only change I make to it is that I put it in an 8x8 instead of the 13x9 indicated. I like a thick granola bar, and I think it's easier to cut without as much crumbling and falling apart.
For those not wanting to click on the link, here is the recipe:
Nutty Granola Bars
3 cups rolled oats (quick oats are fine)
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon (optional)
5 TBSP butter, softened
3 TBSP unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup honey
3 TBSP and 1 and 3/4 tsp packed brown sugar
3 TBSP nut butter of choice (optional)
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
3 TBSP flaxseed meal or wheat germ (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 F. Lightly grease a 9"x13" pan.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
Firmly press mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 325 F for 20 min or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 min and then cut into bars. Let bars cool completely in pan before removing or serving. (This is so important! They'll be very crumbly until they are absolutely cool.) On hot summer days, might want to store in the fridge so that they're not as crumbly and the chocolate doesn't melt.
Makes about 24 bars.
Besides the 8x8 pan, I skip the flaxseed/wheat germ and only add the nut butter if I don't want to send it with Caleb to school. The nut butter does make the mixture stick a bit better together. However, I stir the mixture A LOT and it seems to do just fine. I also use regular chocolate chips, fudging the measurement a bit. :)