No-Bake Granola Bars

Homemade Granola Bar made with Miyoko's Homemade Holiday Granola

So what do you do if you followed my advice and made 10, even 20, cups of my homemade holiday granola? Make homemade granola bars.

With an 8-cup Ball jar filled with my latest batch of granola and sitting on my counter—with my barely making a dent in it eating 1/4 cup at a time with milk—I began worrying that the granola might not keep as long as I had been planning on having it around . I also had been brainstorming different ways to eat it, as I like having a spoonful before I head out on my morning runs. Then it came to me: granola bars!

I looked up a number of recipes, finally settling on no-bake instructions since I’d already cooked the granola once. I settle, oddly enough, on a recipe from NPR (which I had never considered a cooking resource).

The recipe (posted in full below) called for a mix of granola and puffed wheat plus 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 tablespoons peanut butter and 8 tablespoons (or half a cup of) honey . For the puffed wheat, I hit the jackpot spotting a box of Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs cereal. I mixed 1-1/2 cups granola with 1-1/2 cups puffs and set aside. Then, I warmed the extract (accidentally grabbing the almond instead of vanilla but to delish results), 3 tablespoons peanut butter, and 4 tablespoons honey, as I thought eight was a bit outrageous.

Ingredients

Pouring the extract, PB, and honey over the granola and puffs

The granola bar mix in the pan, ready for cooling

I learned the honey is key. After mixing the dry and wet ingredients and putting them in a pan in the fridge for an hour as directed, I had what I dubbed sticky granola, not granola bars. Nevertheless, this sticky mix made a great snack when Rob and I went skiing (him) and snowboarding (me) at Squaw Valley on Saturday. Granola bars would have been better—as I definitely dropped some loose bits on the floor while riding the funitel—but it was a delicious, reenergizing snack.

Trying to make my sticky granola look like a granola bar (I could not pick it up and have it stay together like that though)

Enjoying sticky granola on the Squaw Valley funitel

The next day, however, I decided to turn the sticky granola into actual granola bars by adding the extra honey. I warmed another 3 tablespoons (we’d eaten enough while skiing to reduce the four missing tablespoons to three), stirred the sticky granola in a bowl, and then stirred in the honey. I pressed the mix back into the pan (which was covered with plastic wrap to keep the bars from sticking to the bowl and to keep the bowl from being a mess to clean, a genius recipe suggestion) and stuck it in the fridge again.

Ta da! Granola bars! They hold together quite nicely—and now do make an excellent pre-morning-run pick-me-up. The only thing I’m hoping to amend with the next batch is the sweetness. The 8 tablespoons honey certainly made the granola and puffs stick together but it makes them a bit too sweet for me. So, if you have any suggestions or any other recipes to recommend for holding granola and puffs together, please do leave a comment!

Granola bars, take two. Much better results.

Homemade Granola Bars

Ingredients

(adapted from No-Bake Granola Bars, posted on NPR)

1-1/2 cups Miyoko’s Homemade Holiday Granola

1-1/2 cups puffed wheat (Kashi’s 7 Whole Grain Puffs cereal is a great option)

1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

3 tablespoons peanut butter

8 tablespoons honey

Method

Mix granola and puffs in a bowl; set aside. In a small saucepan, warm extract, peanut butter, and honey until smooth. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Line an 8-inch-by-8-inch pan with plastic wrap. Pour granola bar mix into pan and press down. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. Cut into bars. Enjoy!

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