“RESPECT YOUR BODY. EAT WELL. DANCE FOREVER.” Eliza Gaynor Minden.
Let’s talk granola bars.
Crunchy or chewy?
I love all kinds, but for me, I prefer chewy. Granola bars are such a perfect, quick, compact, portable snack . And I eat them pretty regularly. There may be some decent store bought brands out there, but there is nothing like home made. These are hands down, THE BEST, soft, chewy granola bars I have ever tasted!
So good, they were featured as a Delicious Link on theKitchn!
In fact, they are so easy to make, I’m inspired to develop other flavor combinations and make them on a weekly basis!
The problem is, once I’ve created something I love, it’s hard for me to change it up! These are made with a flavorful combination of oats, almond meal, cranberries, apricots, almonds, pumpkin seeds, coconut, dark chocolate chips, and wild berry honey. But there is one more very special ingredient.
I was provided with free samples of Melt® Organic butter and asked to share my opinion.
The verdict? I LOVE it!
In terms of it’s behavior in baking, it performs very well! When creaming it together with sugar, it was a dream! It’s delicious as is, as a buttery spread. For this granola bar recipe, I decided to use the Honey Melt® Organic. And truthfully, I couldn’t keep my fingers out of this luscious stuff!
If you are a butter lover, but are looking for a healthier alternative, then this is a perfect product for you. The healthy coconut oil and the honey flavor of this spread, just added to the sweetness and richness of these chewy granola bars. And as I’m making these again, I will always use Melt®, which comes in original, honey and chocolate flavors.
Because my belief about baking is that your best result can only happen when you start with the very best ingredients.
Good grains, fruits, and nuts.
So let’s get baking!
Yields: 1 dozen, sweet and chewy bars!
Level of Difficulty: very easy
ALMOND & OAT GRANOLA BARS:
- 1 2/3 cups of quick rolled oats
- 1/2 cup of loosely packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup of almond meal
- 1/2 of a teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 of a teaspoon of ground cinnamon
*Fruits and Nuts, etc. (Feel free to use what you like. These are the exact amounts for this recipe. I would not suggest using more than 10-11 ounces combined. Keep the pieces small. The larger the quantity and size, the more likely the bars won’t hold together well).
- 2 ounces of sliced almonds
- 2 ounces of pumpkin seeds
- 2 ounces of dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
- 2 ounces of dried cranberries
- 2 ounces of shredded coconut (I used sweetened)
- 1 ounce of mini dark chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup of almond butter
- 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
- 6 Tablespoons of Honey Melt® Organic, melted
- 1/4 of wild berry honey
- 2 Tablespoons of light corn syrup
- 1 Tablespoon of water
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line the pan with a rectangular piece of parchment, letting the paper overhang 2 sides to make it easy to lift out when they are done. Spray the parchment with cooking spray as well.
Stir together all the dry ingredients: the oats, brown sugar, almond meal, salt, cinnamon, fruits, nuts, coconut, and chocolate chips. In a separate bowl, combine the melted Honey Melt® Organic, vanilla, honey, corn syrup and water. Toss the wet and dry ingredients together, adding the almond butter. Pat the mixture into your prepared pan, smoothing the top. I used a piece of saran to help press the mixture into the pan.
The ingredients, before baked, were so good, I couldn’t resist munching on bits and pieces of them!
Bake for 30 minutes until the top takes on a golden color. Cool completely on a rack. I put these into the refrigerator for about an hour before cutting. Use the sides of the parchment paper to remove the granola from the pan. Slice in half, and then cut each half into 6 small bars.
If you want the granola bars to have smooth sides, then cut off the rough edges. But don’t throw them out! They are just as good!
It’s like brownies, you don’t usually cut off the edges, they are often the best part for some people. But with these scrumptious granola bars, it gives you a great view of all the sweet and chewy goodness that is packed inside!
I suggest wrapping each one individually to help them maintain their form and keep them nice and chewy!
I received free samples of Melt® Organic in exchange for this review. However all opinions expressed in this post are my own.
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