Many people eat breakfast on the run or skip breakfast altogether. Granola bars are filling and easy to eat on the go. They can be made at home in about an hour and cost much less than the ready made varieties found in stores. By designing your own breakfast bars, you combine the ingredients you like best.
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cup nuts: choose from almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts or cashews; omit nuts if desired and substitute sesame or shelled sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup wheat germ or flax seed
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1-oz. real butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- add one cup choice of dried fruit: apples, blueberries, figs, banana or cherry
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
Spread the oats, seeds, nuts and wheat germ onto a sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring at least twice. While oats and seeds are toasting, combine the honey, sugar and butter in a saucepan and heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the pan from the stove and add peanut butter, extract and salt
Once the oat mixture is toasted, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before cutting into bars. Store the bars in an air-tight container for up to one week. If kept longer, refrigerate.
Breakfast bars can be made with or without fruit. If there is a nut allergy to consider, increase the amount of oats by one cup and seeds by one-half cup. Keep an even balance of ingredients and make as many substitutes as needed.
Substitutes might include poppy seeds, chia seeds, almond butter, raisins or currants. Make the perfect breakfast bar by using only ingredients you enjoy without chemicals and preservatives.