Store-bought, packaged granola bars are usually loaded with sugar, artificial ingredients, and preservatives to increase their shelf life. So if you have a busy lifestyle and a couple of active monkeys at home, these homemade granola bars are a great alternative as on-the-go snacks. Make batches ahead of time and freeze them individually. That way, you can just grab them on your way out and they will be ready to eat in an hour or so.
Equipment: standing mixer
(It’s not necessary, but it could save you time by evenly mixing the nuts and seeds with the peanut butter and honey.)
Baking sheet lined with parchment paper
Makes 16 bars (or more if you them in squares)
- 2 cups raw mixed nuts (I use a mix of blanched hazelnuts, almonds, and walnuts)
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (or a mix of seeds)
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 1/4 cup goji berries
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 3/4 cup smooth, unsalted peanut butter
- 1/2 cup clear, runny honey
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp flaky sea salt (I use Maldon
Preheat oven to 170℃ with fan assist.
Put nuts and seeds on a shallow baking tray and toast in preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Remove and let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 150℃.
Add toasted seeds to 1 cup oats into a food processor and pulse into a rough, sandy form, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to standing mixer to let cool.
Pulse dried apricots in food processor until finely chopped, about the size of chocolate chips. There might be some bits of apricots that are a bit bigger, but that’s fine. Transfer to standing mixer bowl with nut mixture. Add remaining 1 cup oats, attach paddle attachment on standing mixer, and mix at slow speed until well combined. Continue mixing on slow speed and add olive oil until just combined, then stop mixer. Pour peanut butter over mixture WITHOUT stirring it in.
In a small frying pan, heat honey, salt, and vanilla extract over medium heat until it bubbles. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until honey is foaming vigorously, about 3 minutes.
Immediately pour honey mixture over ingredients in mixer bowl, melting peanut butter. Turn mixer back on and stir until all ingredients are well combined.
Transfer granola mixture to prepared pan and press firmly into an even layer using the back of a spoon or a rolling pin. (I used parchment paper to keep the rolling pin from getting covered in the granola mixture.)
Bake granola until deep golden brown, about 30-35 minutes. Let cool completely in pan, then lift parchment paper out onto a cutting board. Decide what size bars you want and measure out where you need to cut. Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice into separate pieces, then transfer them to an airtight box and store them in a cool, dry place for up to 1 week or freeze them for up to 2 months.
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