Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Homemade Granola Bars

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We were given some beautiful, fresh-picked dates, so I began perusing the internet looking for a date bar recipe. I found a couple recipes that looked promising but this recipe for homemade granola bars caught my eye. It was by Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa, had rave reviews and used dates! What more could I ask for? When my kids were little, I made granola bars quite often. Bars are great for snacks, pack nicely for school lunches and make a terrific breakfast on the go for those who don't really like eating a typical breakfast. The most important part is these granola bars aren't made with a lot of fluff and sugar. They are homemade, by you, with wholesome, substantial ingredients to keep you and your family going strong!After making this recipe, I must say these are absolutely delicious and turned out better than I could have imagined! They are real-ly, real-ly good and I have already used them for snacking and for breakfast on the go!

This recipe has quite a few ingredients, so if you don't have these ingredients readily available, the best place to purchase them would be Sprouts or Whole Foods so you can buy most of the ingredients needed in the bulk section of the store, allowing to purchase a little or alot. Some supermarkets also have a bulk section for dried fruits, nuts and grains.

The wheat germ I purchased in bulk was not toasted so I included it in the first toasting along with the oatmeal, slivered almonds and coconut. I baked my bars in my toaster oven using the bottom of my broiler pan which measures 11.5-inches by 10-inches and they came out a very nice thickness. I also used this same pan to toast my oatmeal, nuts and coconut and it worked fine.

I cut up my fresh dates using scissors. They were very sticky and clung together so I dusted them with flour to keep them from forming one big clump. Of course, if you're not a date lover, raisins would work just fine, but please give dates a try. Their flavor and texture adds a lot to the recipe as a whole.

Bake 25 minutes for a softer granola bar, 30 minutes for a more crispy bar.

Lightly toasting oatmeal, almonds and coconut.

2 Cups old fashioned oatmeal

1 Cup slivered almonds

1 Cup shredded coconut, loosely packed

1/2 Cup toasted wheat germ

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, regular salted butter will work just fine.

2/3 Cup honey

1/4 Cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp kosher salt, or whatever you have on hand.

1/2 Cup chopped pitted dates, use scissors to snip into small pieces.

1/2 Cup chopped dried apricots, use scissors to snip into small pieces.

1/2 Cup dried cranberries

Spray measuring cup with oil to make honey slip out easily.

Butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and salt.

Bring to boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for 1 min.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12 inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.
  • Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
  • Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.
Cool granola bars 2 to 3 hours before cutting into bars.

Cut into squares and/or rectangles.

Wrap each bar individually and store in airtight container.
A mountain of Homemade Granola Bars. It's a beautiful sight!

With each bar individually wrapped, you can quickly toss them into a backpack, lunch sack or purse. That's how we do it . . . Over at Julie's.

Hope your week is going great! Would love to hear from you dear reader!



  1. I never thought dates could taste so good!

  2. It is a very good way to introduce others to dates in a nonthreating way! Dates are so good for you and so tasty!


Your comments and questions are welcomed . . .