Saturday, July 20, 2019

Food Storage Granola Bars

I've been working on this post for a while now.  It takes time to search through dozens of recipes for just those that utilize more typical food storage ingredients, and then try them out to see how they taste and share our reviews of them.

Baked Granola Bars with Coconut
4 cups oatmeal
2 cups flour
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup honey
1 cup raisins, dried cranberries, chocolate chips, or chopped nuts, optional

Mix first six ingredients together thoroughly.  Add in oil and honey and mix well with your fingers.  Then add in dried fruit, chocolate chips, or chopped nuts, if desired.  Press into 12x15 pan (or pan of similar dimensions).  Using a rolling pin and waxed paper will make this process a little easier.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Do not overbake or your granola bars will become quite hard.  They should look soft and puffy when you remove them from the oven.  Cut into squares while still warm.

Reviews:  I used unsweetened shredded coconut, so these bars were not as sweet as most granola bars.  The kids did not like having less sugar.  I liked that they weren't so sweet, but maybe I ate more than I should have because of it.  I thought they had a good texture and flavor. 

Crunchy Baked Granola Bars
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Mix first seven ingredients together thoroughly.  In another bowl, blend wet ingredients well and then stir into dry ingredients.  Mix very well.  Press evenly into a well-greased 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Cool slightly and then cut into bars.

Reviews:  These were pretty hard and crunchy.  We like softer bars here.

No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars
2 cups quick cooking rolled oats
2 cups Rice Krispies
3/4 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Line a 9x13 pan with parchment or waxed paper.  Set aside.  Mix first five ingredients well in a large bowl.  Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan over low heat.  Pour over dry ingredients and combine very well.   Press into prepared pan.  (This will be easier if you use a sheet of waxed paper on top as well.

Reviews:  This is a really good basic recipe as well.  We realized that we just don't like granola bars with fruit in them.  We want only chocolate chips and nuts.  But fruit is fine in granola, so we just broke these up and ate them as cereal instead.

Granola Bars with Pre-made Granola
3 1/2 cups granola
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Combine granola and chopped nuts in large bowl and set aside.  In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, and peanut butter and stir until smooth.  Pour over granola and nuts and press into a greased 9x9 pan.  Immediately sprinkle mini chocolate chips over the top and press them in.  Cut into bars.

Review:  It seems like extra work to make granola and then make granola bars, but if you didn't like something about the granola you were starting out with, maybe this would be a solution.  It's a basic recipe, but because there is such a variety in granolas, it's impossible to give a fair evaluation of the recipe.  

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