I’m so excited to have Jess, from Styled By Jess guest blog for me once again while I get settled in Scotland. Jess is a crafter, fashion-obsessed, decorator, home chef who began the blog www.styledbyjess.com to share her creative adventures! Jess lives in Arlington with her husband and cat Maxine and is the author of the blog Styled By Jess. Check her site out sometime for fun ideas that will bring a little sparkle to your life.
I have been really into eating granola bars lately – mostly when I need a quick, healthy snack before a workout or while we’re out running errands. Then I thought, how great would it be to make my own granola bars from scratch? I remembered seeing an episode of the Barefoot Contessa where she made granola bars, so I used her recipe as the base for mine. I think the oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, honey, and butter ratio stay the same and then you can use whatever nuts and dried fruit you prefer. I noted my substitutions below for more ideas when you’re making your own version!
- 2 C old-fashioned oatmeal
- 1 C sliced almonds
- 1 C shredded coconut, loosely packed (I omitted this, my husband hates coconut)
- 1/2 C toasted wheat germ
- 3 Tbs unsalted butter
- 2/3 C honey
- 1/4 C light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 1/2 Tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 Tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 C chopped pitted dates (I used 1 C raisins instead of the dates and apricots)
- 1/2 C chopped dried apricots
- 1/2 C dried cranberries(I used 1/2 C dried pineapple – yum!)
- 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 (or whatever fruit you choose) 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.
I will note that these granola bars are a little sticky, so a great way to travel with them is to wrap them in Martha Wrap, parchment side around the granola bar, and seal each end with a twist tie. Then you can have your homemade granola bars to go!