Tag Archives: granola

Coconut Date Granola

Coconut Date Granola @NancyC

It was time for me to make some homemade granola–I make it every few months and this Coconut Date Granola is a sweeter granola than I usually make, because in addition to honey and maple syrup (I usually use one or the other, or some of both) this also is sweetened with light brown sugar. It also has the natural sweetness of chopped dates, which are really good for you. Some other healthy ingredients in this recipe include pepitas, sunflower kernels, coconut flakes, and chopped pecans. And some light olive oil, too.

I shared this granola with some friends and co-workers, and they all really liked it. So if you’re a granola-lover, you’ll have to keep this recipe in mind!

COCONUT DATE GRANOLA by NancyC

Makes about 13 cups (halve the recipe to make a smaller amount)

  • 6 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup wheat germ or ground flaxseed
  • 1 1/2 cups raw pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds-you can use roasted pepitas, but add those in after baking)
  • 1 1/2 cups hulled, raw sunflower kernels (you can use roasted kernels, but add those in after baking)
  • 2 cups sweetened or unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup light olive oil
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped dates

Preheat oven to 300˚F. Line 2 rimmed baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the oats, wheat germ or ground flaxseed, pepitas, sunflower kernels, coconut flakes, and chopped pecans; set aside.

In a small microwaveable bowl, heat honey for 20 to 30 seconds to make the consistency thinner. Then, in a medium size bowl, blend honey, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, and salt, blending everything well. Pour honey/maple syrup/sugar mixture over oat mixture and toss until the oat mixture is well coated.

Spread granola mixture on prepared baking sheets and bake at 300˚F for 48 to 55 minutes, until mixture is golden, stirring mixture every 15 minutes. Remove from oven, stir in the chopped dates (half of the dates for each baking sheet), and let granola cool completely (the mixture will get crunchier as it cools). Some of the granola may dry in larger clumps, so you may need to break those into smaller pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three weeks.

This granola makes a great breakfast with milk. It also makes a great breakfast parfait with yogurt. And it also makes a yummy snack to munch on later in the day! Do you make homemade granola, and what is your favorite kind?

Sharing this recipe at Weekend Potluck, Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Inspire Me Monday.

 

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Mixed Fruit Granola

mixed-fruit-granola-nancycGranola is one of my favorite breakfast items and I love making my own–I’m definitely hooked on homemade granola! I often used dried fruit like cranberries, raisins, and blueberries, but this crunchiestime I used some freeze-dried fruit. I recently received some complimentary samples from CRUNCHIES® and thought they would work great in granola.

CRUNCHIES® offers a variety of freeze-dried fruits (and even freeze-dried beets, which are pretty tasty), and their process retains most of the nutrients of fresh fruit. They are light with a great crunchiness to them–kind of like a chip, which makes them perfect for snacking on! I really liked all of the fruits they sent me–my favorites were the strawberries, grapes, and mangos. You can visit their site to see all the freeze-dried items they offer. In my granola, I used some of their freeze-dried strawberries, strawberry banana mix, raspberries, and grapes. So this granola is definitely fruity!

This is also a very versatile recipe–you can substitute other freeze-dried fruit or regular dried fruit like blueberries, cranberries, raisins, and banana chips, for example. The flavor of the freeze-dried fruit I used was really good, though, so you may just want to try that out!

MIXED FRUIT GRANOLA by NancyC

Makes 16-18 servings 

  • 6 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup wheat germ (or you can substitute flaxseed)
  • 1 1/2 cups raw sunflower kernels (or use roasted kernels but add them to the mixture after baking)
  • 2/3 cup non-GMO canola oil or light olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups honey
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups freeze-dried fruit (or regular dried fruit–I used a combination of CRUNCHIES® freeze dried strawberries, strawberry banana mix, raspberries, and grapes)
  • parchment paper for lining pan

Adjust oven rack to middle of oven. Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line a 13 x 18″ rimmed baking pan with parchment paper; set aside (or use two rimmed 10 x 15″ cookie sheets).

In a very large bowl, stir together the oats, pecans, wheat germ, and sunflower kernels.

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, stir together the oil, honey, cinnamon and salt; heat in microwave for 30 to 40 seconds, then stir until well-blended.

Pour honey mixture over oat mixture in large bowl, stirring to coat evenly. Spread mixture in an even layer on the lined 13 x 18″ pan.

Bake at 325˚F for 20 minutes; remove from oven, stir mixture (so it will bake evenly), then return to oven for another 20 minutes–for a total baking time of 40 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in the dried fruit. Let granola stand until cooled, then stir again to break any large clumps. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

This granola not only makes a great breakfast, but it’s a great snack for later in the day, too. The fruit in it gives it a nice natural sweetness and tartness. I love how colorful it is too–that freeze dried fruit really adds some color punch!

Tomorrow it will be October already! I mentioned last week I have a some apple recipes to share with you, and I’ll be posting one next week! Have you made any good apple recipes lately?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday. Weekend Potluck. Inspire Me Monday.

Cranberry Quick Oats Granola

Cranberry Quick Oats Granola @ NancyC

I’ve always made homemade granola with old-fashioned rolled oats–I’ve read that they work better in granola recipes. But one evening when I was wanting to make some granola, I discovered I didn’t have enough rolled oats. And no time to run out and buy more. But I had plenty of quick oats! So I decided to try making granola with those instead. I found a recipe from The Daily Dish that I modified by using more dried cranberries, adding pecans, and making a few other small changes.

This granola is really yummy! It has a great crunchy texture when eaten while still warm (it’s a little less crunchy when it cools off) and the maple syrup gives it a nice sweetness. It’s definitely worth trying the next time you want to make some granola! I’m sure this recipe would work fine with old-fashioned oats too, if you prefer using those.

CRANBERRY QUICK OATS GRANOLA by NancyC, adapted from The Daily Dish

Makes about 10 cups

  • 6 cups quick oats
  • 1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups dried cranberries (added after baking)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line two 9 x 13″ pans or one 13 x 18″ rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In large mixing bowl, combine the quick oats, pecans, coconut, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg (the dried cranberries are added after baking).

In a small bowl, stir together the maple syrup, oil, vanilla, and salt.  Add this mixture to the oat mixture, blending until everything is thoroughly coated.

With large spoon, spread mixture on parchment-lined pan or pans. Place pans on middle rack in oven and bake for 30 minutes total, or until golden–as mixture is baking, you’ll need to remove the pan or pans from the oven every 10 minutes, stir mixture, then return to the oven. After 30 minutes, remove from oven and cool completely. Then add in the dried cranberries. Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

This granola makes a great healthy snack and also is good served as a cereal with milk or in a breakfast parfait with plain or vanilla yogurt. Have you ever used quick oats in a granola recipe?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Sunday Features, Inspiration Monday, Happiness is Homemade,  Inspire Me Monday, Show and Share, Wow Us Wednesdays, Wake Up Wednesdays, Wow Me Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Create it Thursday, Full Plate Thursday. Share Your Style, Showcase Your Talent Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things.

Maple Cinnamon Raisin Granola

Maple Cinnamon Raisin Granola @ NancyC

Homemade granola is so good–I started making it a few years ago and I guess you could say I’m hooked on homemade granola! I’ve made several granola recipes, including Vanilla Almond Granola, Pumpkin Spice Granola, and Dark Chocolate Granola Bars. I like experimenting with different variations and flavors, and I decided to try a version with some fall-inspired flavors like maple syrup, cinnamon, and raisins. There’s nothing fancy about this granola, but it has that great classic cinnamon-raisin goodness. And the maple syrup makes a wonderful natural sweetener. There’s no sugar in this, just the sweetness of the maple syrup. Which is great if you’re trying to cut back on sugar. And even if you’re not, it’s still a really good granola!

MAPLE CINNAMON RAISIN GRANOLA by NancyC

Makes about 9 cups

  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (don’t use quick oats)
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower kernels (if you use roasted and salted kernels, add them to the mixture after baking)
  • 1/2 cup raw pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds–if you use roasted and salted pepitas, add them to the mixture after baking)
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons non-GMO canola oil or light olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line a 10 x 15″ or 13 x 18″ rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a small bowl, blend the maple syrup, oil, salt, and ground cinnamon; set aside.

In a medium bowl, toss the oats, walnuts, pecans, coconut, sunflower kernels, pepitas, and wheat germ (you’ll be adding the raisins after the granola is done baking). Mix in the maple syrup, oil, salt, and cinnamon mixture and toss again, combining and coating all ingredients well.

Spread this mixture on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 325˚F for 20 minutes; remove pan from oven to stir and toss the mixture for even baking. Return to oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until mixture is golden.

Remove from oven and add the raisins to the mixture on the pan; toss to combine. Let mixture cool completely on pan, then store in a tightly-sealed container for up to 2 weeks.

This granola is great with milk or sprinkled over vanilla yogurt for breakfast. And it makes a great snack any time of the day. It’s not super-sweet, but everyone who tasted this for me said it was sweet enough for them.

Do you make you own granola and do you have a favorite recipe?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Sunday Features, Simply Sundays, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, Inspire Me Monday, Show and Share, Wonderful Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Wow Us Wednesdays, Wake Up Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Create It Thursday, Inspiration Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Showcase Your Talent Thursday, Share Your Style, Fabulous Foodie Friday, Feathered Nest Friday.

S’mores Granola

SmoresGranola_NancyCreative.com The last time I made granola, I made Chocolate Chip Cherry Granola. It was the first time I had added chocolate to granola and I loved the combination! And now that summery weather is here, it seemed like the perfect time to try making S’mores Granola. S’mores are such a classic summer treat, so why not make a granola version? I used Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits, mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, and Golden Grahams cereal to mimic the chocolate-marshmallow-graham cracker flavors, and these all worked really well with my granola base.

This S’mores Granola makes a good snack to munch on any time of day and you can also spoon it over vanilla yogurt for an easy breakfast or dessert. If you like sweet cereal, you could also serve this granola in a bowl with milk.

S’MORES GRANOLA by NancyC

Makes about 10 cups

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 3 Tablespoons non-GMO canola oil or light olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (do not use quick oats)
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ or ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 3 cups Golden Grahams cereal
  • 1 1/2 cups Kraft Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits
  • 1 1/2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (or chop an equivalent amount of Hershey bars into small chunks)

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line a 10 x 15″ or 13 x 18″ rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a microwave-safe bowl or container, heat the honey for about 30 seconds so it’s thinner and easier to stir; then mix the honey, oil, and salt together in a small bowl; set aside.

In large bowl, toss the oats, wheat germ or flaxseed, and chopped pecans. Add in the honey, oil, and salt mixture and toss again, combining all ingredients well.

Spread mixture evenly on your parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 325˚F for 20 minutes; remove pan from oven to stir and toss mixture for even baking. Return to oven for an additional 15 minutes, until mixture is golden, and remove from oven.

Stir granola, then let it cool completely on pan (if the granola isn’t quite crunchy, it will get crunchier as it cools). When completely cool, put granola mixture in an extra large bowl and stir in the Golden Grahams, Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits, and mini chocolate chips (or chopped up Hershey bars). Store in a tightly sealed container for up to 2 weeks.

S’mores are such a classic treat and it’s fun making variations on the chocolate-graham cracker-marshmallow combination. Did you have S’mores often as a kid and do you make them now?

Linked to Full Plate Thursday, Let’s Get Real Friday, Inspiration Thursday.

Chocolate Chip Cherry Granola

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I was wanting to make some granola this past weekend, but I was also wanting something chocolatey. So I decided to combine the two and I came up with this Chocolate Chip Cherry Granola. I thought it would be a great healthy snack to munch on and keep me from being tempted to eat too much Valentine candy! It’s sweetened with honey, sweetened coconut flakes, dried cherries, and those cute little mini semi-sweet chocolate chips. So it satisfies my sweet tooth, but it still has very healthy things in it like oats, almonds, pecans, and sunflower seeds.

I love the combination of flavors in this granola and the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips are the perfect chocolate touch. If you want a healthy sweet to nibble on, too, you should try this out!

CHOCOLATE CHIP CHERRY GRANOLA by NancyC

Makes about 9 cups

  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (do not use quick oats)
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 cup sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds, salted or unsalted
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 3 Tablespoons non-GMO canola oil or light olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried cherries (or one 5-ounce package)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line a 10 x 15″ or 13 x 18″ rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a microwave-safe bowl or container, heat the honey for about 30 seconds so it’s thinner and easier to stir; then mix the honey, oil, and salt together in a small bowl; set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the oats, sliced almonds, chopped pecans or walnuts, coconut, and sunflower seeds. Add in the honey, oil, and salt mixture and toss again, combining all ingredients well. Spread mixture on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 325˚F for 20 minutes; remove pan from oven to stir and toss mixture for even baking. Return to oven for an additional 15 minutes, until mixture is golden, and remove from oven.

Stir granola, then let it cool completely on pan (if the granola isn’t quite crunchy, it will get crunchier as it cools). When completely cool, add in the dried cherries and semi-sweet mini chocolate chips. Store in a tightly sealed container for up to 2 weeks. Or package in mini treat bags and give as a healthy Valentine’s Day treat!

ncChChpChryGranolanm

Not only is this granola a great healthy sweet snack, you can have it as a cereal for breakfast, too–although you may want to leave out the chocolate chips…or maybe not! 🙂

Linked to Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

Pumpkin Spice Granola

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After making a few pumpkin recipes that didn’t require much pumpkin, like the Pumpkin Pie Latte and the yummy Pumpkin Pie Magic Bars, I still had some pumpkin to use from the can. So I decided to continue with the Pumpkin theme and try using it in granola! This is a pretty basic recipe as granolas go, with oats, hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas), chopped pecans, and dried cranberries. And it’s spiced up cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice. You can also add in other things like coconut flakes or sunflower seeds if you like. The hulled pumpkin seeds I used were already roasted and lightly salted, which worked really well in this granola. If you use raw hulled pumpkin seeds, you may want to add an extra 1/4 teaspoon salt to the recipe.

These dry ingredients are coated with a pumpkin-maple-honey-brown sugar coating. With those yummy fall flavors, it’s a great granola to make this time of year! Note: this is a lightly-sweet granola, so if you like yours really sweet, you may want to add an extra Tablespoon or two of brown sugar.

PUMPKIN SPICE GRANOLA by NancyC

  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas–you can use roasted and lightly salted pepitas, but add them to the mixture after it is done baking)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil (or coconut oil, melted)
  • 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line a large 13 x 18″ rimmed baking sheet or two 10 x 15″ rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

In large bowl, mix the oats, pumpkin seeds, pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together until combined; set aside.

In medium bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, honey, oil, and brown sugar until smooth and well blended. Pour over dry ingredients in large bowl and mix until everything is moistened and evenly coated.

Spread evenly onto lined baking sheet or sheets and bake at 325˚F 40 minutes total, stirring the granola after 20 minutes for even baking.

Remove from oven and let granola cool on baking sheets for 20 minutes (the granola will get crunchier as it cools). Transfer granola into a large bowl and stir in the dried cranberries.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Serve with yogurt, milk, or eat it plain as a healthy snack!

I really like making pumpkin flavored things this time of year! Have you made any unique pumpkin breakfast dishes this fall?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener, Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy, and Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner.

Berry Walnut Granola

ncBerryWalnutGran1nm

I am a big fan of granola, and I prefer homemade–I think it tastes so much better! I’ve posted several recipes for granola bars, like Crunchy Honey Almond Granola BarsDark Chocolate Granola Bars, and chewier Granola Bars. I’ve also made an unsweetened Cranberry Raisin Nut Toasted Oat Cereal. So I thought it was about time I posted a granola cereal recipe that I like making. It’s sweetened with honey, shredded coconut, and a mix of dried berries. You can serve it with milk or Greek yogurt in the morning and it’s great as a snack, too! This recipe makes A LOT of granola, so you can halve it if you want to make a smaller batch.

BERRY WALNUT GRANOLA by NancyC

Makes 16-18 servings 

  • 6 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (or substitute pecans)
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 2 cups sweetened coconut flakes (shredded coconut)
  • 1 1/2 cups raw sunflower kernels (or use roasted kernels but add them to the mixture after baking)
  • 2/3 cup non-GMO canola oil or light olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups honey
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 cups dried mixed berries (I used a mix of dried cranberries, cherries, and blueberries)
  • parchment paper for lining pan

Adjust oven rack to middle of oven. Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line a 13 x 18″ rimmed baking pan with parchment paper; set aside (or use two rimmed 10 x 15″ cookie sheets).

In a very large bowl, stir together the oats, nuts, wheat germ, coconut flakes, and sunflower kernels.

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, stir together the oil, honey, and cinnamon; heat in microwave for 30 to 40 seconds, then stir until well-blended.

Pour honey mixture over oat mixture in large bowl, stirring to coat evenly. Spread mixture in an even layer on the lined 13 x 18″ pan.

Bake at 325˚F for 20 minutes; remove from oven, stir mixture (so it will bake evenly), then return to oven for another 20 minutes–for a total baking time of 40 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in the dried mixed berries. Let granola stand until cooled, then stir again to break any large clumps. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Are you a granola fan too and do you make homemade granola?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

Crunchy Honey Almond Granola Bars

nccrHnyAlGrBrs2nm

I love those crunchy Nature Valley Granola Bars, so I thought this would be a good recipe to try. It originated from Americas’s Test Kitchen, but I actually found these granola bars on Bakerlady. I adapted the recipe by making them into Honey Almond Granola Bars by using almond extract instead of vanilla, canola oil instead of vegetable oil, adding a little extra salt, and leaving out the cinnamon, since I didn’t want it to take away from the almond flavor. I also added some milled flaxseed for extra fiber. I liked the way these turned out, so I plan on making them regularly! They don’t taste exactly like Nature Valley Granola Bars, but they have the same great crunchy texture. Since I eat a lot of granola bars, I’m sure I will save money making them myself! Making your own granola bars is also much more eco-friendly, too, when you think of all the packaging used for those store-bought bars.

This recipe works best in a 13 x 18″ pan; if you make it in a 10 x 15″ pan the bars will be thicker and harder to cut. Also, you should not use quick-cooking oats–be sure to use Old Fashioned Oats!

CRUNCHY HONEY ALMOND GRANOLA BARS by NancyC, adapted from Bakerlady

Makes a 13 x 18″ pan (about 24 to 30 bars, depending on the size you cut them)

  • 7 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 to 1 1/2 Tablespoons almond extract (if you just use 1 Tablespoon, the almond flavor will be very, very mild)
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons milled or whole flaxseeds or wheat germ (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped or sliced almonds

Adjust oven rack to the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 375˚F.

Line a 13 x 18″ rimmed baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, oil, and salt, mixing until oats are evenly coated. Transfer mixture to baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Bake, stirring oats every 10 minutes, until pale gold, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove pan from oven and lower temperature to 300˚F.

Combine honey and brown sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and stir in the almond extract.

In large bowl, combine the oats, flaxseed or wheat germ (if using), and almonds, mixing until ingredients are blended well. Then add the honey mixture and stir with a large spoon or rubber spatula until the oats are thoroughly coated with the honey mixture.

Spray the baking sheet, still lined with foil or parchment paper, with non-stick spray and spread the granola mixture in an even layer on the sheet. Spray a large spoon or metal spatula with non-stick spray and firmly press the mixture into the pan. Make a flat, tight, even layer. Bake at 300˚F until golden, about 35 minutes.

Cool granola in baking sheet, on a wire rack, for 10 minutes before cutting into bars with a knife or pastry scraper. Cut bars all the way through (2 x 3″ is a good size), then allow the bars to completely cool. Do not wait any longer than 10 minutes to cut the bars because they harden up as they cool and become difficult to cut.

You can put the bars in a covered container and store for up to 2 weeks.

NOTE: You can make Cinnamon Walnut Granola Bars by substituting vanilla extract for the almond extract, chopped walnuts (or pecans) for the almonds, and adding 1 to 2  teaspoons of cinnamon to the honey and brown sugar mixture.

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Do you like crunchy or chewy granola bars–and do you have a favorite granola bar recipe?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

Dark Chocolate Granola Bars

I’m a big fan of dark chocolate and granola bars. So I decided to combine these in a really yummy granola bar recipe! My recipe was inspired by one I saw at Another Lunch, with a few changes. Instead of using chocolate chips, I used a 4-ounce Ghirardelli 60% cacao dark chocolate bar, chopping it up coarsely. I used coconut oil instead of canola oil, using a few teaspoons more than the original recipe did. And I used puffed brown rice cereal instead of crisp rice cereal.

I love the way they tasted! The only downside is that, after the granola is done baking, it needs to sit overnight to fully set before cutting into bars. If you cut them sooner, they’ll fall apart. They were still slightly crumbly in some places when I cut mine the next morning, but not too bad. I found that when I refrigerated them they held together better, too.

These are great for a quick breakfast (chocolate for breakfast–YES!) or an afternoon snack. They’re easy to take to work or pack in a school lunch if you wrap each bar individually in wax paper after cutting them. Next time I make these, I may add some chopped almonds, too.

This recipe makes 10 to 12 yummy granola bars!

DARK CHOCOLATE GRANOLA BARS by NancyCreative, adapted from Another Lunch

Makes 10 to 12 bars in an 8×8″ pan

  • 2 1/2 cups quick oats (regular oats don’t hold together as well in this)
  • 1/2 cup puffed brown rice or crisp rice cereal
  • 1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons  ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, well-packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 to 2 teaspoons coconut oil (or substitute canola oil)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 to 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (4-ounce) dark chocolate bar, coarsely chopped  (I used a Ghirardelli 60% cacao bar)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8″ square pan with parchment paper; set aside.

Mix oats, rice cereal, flaxseed or wheat germ, brown sugar, and salt, blending so ingredients are evenly distributed. Add in the oil, honey, and vanilla, and slowly blend ingredients well, taking your time, so the wet ingredients can “soak” into the dry ingredients and hold together better (you can use a big spoon or even your hands to mix the ingredients). Then stir in the coarsely chopped bar of chocolate, blending so chocolate is evenly distributed. Firmly press mixture into your parchment-lined 8×8″ pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until top is golden (I baked mine 22 minutes).

Let granola cool completely and set overnight in pan (if you don’t let it set long enough, the granola will fall apart when cutting).

The next morning, lift the granola out of the pan with the edges of the parchment paper.

Using a long, sharp knife, cut into bars…you’ll get 10 to 12, depending on how wide you cut them. I cut mine into 10 bars. The granola was still a little crumbly in some places when I was cutting…these bars are definitely more delicate than the store-bought kind (but I think they taste so much better!).

If you’re not eating the granola bars right away, wrap them up individually in wax paper or a waxy type of sandwich wrap (I got mine at Sam’s Club). You can store them, wrapped, in an airtight container, but I like storing them in the refrigerator better–after mine were in the fridge a bit, they held together better.

Then enjoy your granola bars whenever you’re ready for a great snack!

Do you make your own granola bars? What ingredients do you like putting in yours?