Do you enjoy Nature Valley granola bars? Those healthy afternoon pick me up bars are popular in our house especially when we want something healthyish to give us a late afternoon energy boost. Think Nature Valley granola bars made at home but more gooey and soft and with lots more flavor. These granola bars are not only soft, sweet and chewy, they are also packed with good for you ingredients such as oats, nuts, dried fruits, honey and super seeds like pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds.
The best part of this recipe is how easy these bars are to make. Just combine the oats and dry ingredients, then pour in the honey, butter and vanilla, and bake. Then just cut the granola into bars.
To make it enticing I actually took the extra effort to wrap each individual bar in parchment paper! You know how it is, when the family thinks it’s from a specialty bakery those same bars look extra appealing 😀.
These are great make at home granola bars to keep in the snack pantry for times when the family is rummaging for something snacky. Have it with a warm cup of coffee for a morning snack or in the afternoon with a cup of tea. I mean who wouldn’t want these gorgeous granola bars?
Made with all things good for you and no preservatives this is an awesome recipe from Barefootcontessa.com from way back in 2008, but no matter, as this recipe is still good over a decade later!
Homemade Granola Bars
with inspiration from Homemade granola bars on barefootcontessa.com
with a few modifications
- 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
- 1 cup sliced almonds. I used 1 cup chopped walnuts and 1 cup almonds for extra nuts.
- 1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
- ½ cup toasted wheat germ – I used 1/4 cup chia seeds and 1/4 cup flax seed meal
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds – I added these for extra goodness
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup chopped pitted dates
- ½ cup chopped dried apricots
- ½ cup dried cranberries or raisins
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 x 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.
- Toss the oatmeal, almonds or walnuts, pumpkin seeds, 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, the superseeds and dried fruit.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees.
- 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 and stir well.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Lightly press the mixture down in the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown.
- Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Store at room temperature.
Look at these granola bars! Don’t they look delectable!
Package them in parchment paper for a bakery-looking treat!