Scrumptious and healthy granola bars

So many times I have spent at least $1.69 on one granola-type bar to use as a quick snack or for breakfast.  Even the healthiest bars have ingredients in them we either don’t need or don’t want, but we eat them anyway; they are quick and easy!  So, my solution was to create my own.  These bars are so good and versatile, I even use them as a cookie or a sweet treat and still feel good about it.  They are loaded with whole grains and lots of other goodness, so enjoy….

Like many of my recipes, I start with a base that you can change to meet your needs and/or suit your tastes – totally customize to your liking.  There are two parts to this recipe, the granola shell and the filling, and if you need or want to save time, you can use filling that is pre-made or jam you have in the house.

This recipe is for an 8×8 pan – double it for a 9×13 pan.  When cool, I cut and put the bars in wax bags for an easy grab and go.

Part 1:  the top and bottom granola shell

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4-1/2 cup other ground goodness; flaxseed, chia seed, sesame seed, nuts, raisins, or a mixture
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar or you can use honey or agave.  If you do, use 1/2 cup and add 1/4 cup more whole wheat pastry flour or use a mashed banana in place of the sugar all together.
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil; here again you can less oil and add a little water – this is used to help bind the dry ingredients.

Mix all the the above ingredients together.  It should be crumbly, but somewhat binding.

Part 2:  the fun part; the filling

  • 1 3/4 cup berries (I use what’s available before they go bad) and bring to a boil with,
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar (optional)

Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until it thickens a little.

Other great filling ideas:

  • your favorite jam – about 1 1/2 cups with a little water added
  • another fruit like apples, pears, or figs;  cook and dice or mash down
  • applesauce
  • your favorite chocolate

Use your imagination, just remember you need about 1 and 1/2 cups filling.

Part 3:  putting it all together

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • either line the pan with parchment paper and lightly grease or coat with a non-stick spray
  • put 1/2 of the granola shell ingredients in the pan and pat down with your hand
  • add all of the filling and bake for 20 minutes
  • after 20 minutes, take it out of the oven and add the rest of the granola shell ingredients; pat down with a wooden spoon to make a top layer
  • bake an additional 30 minutes until light golden brown
  • cool before cutting

That’s it.  Simple, healthy, and delicious.  Yum……