Homemade Granola Bars

We LOVE granola bars at my house.  But I hate paying $4 or more for a box of 6 organic bars. So I decided I wanted to find a recipe I could make myself.  I went on a search for a great granola bar recipe and I found the best recipe over at Kitchen Stewardship. There were other recipes but they were just not what I was looking for.  Having small, sometimes very needy, children,  I need something healthy I can put together quickly and easily.  I also like the recipes to be somewhat forgiving.  This recipe fits the bill and come out perfect every. single. time. No matter how I mess it up.  

This is a great recipe for kids to help with.  My girls love to help me with anything I am cooking.  I just pull out the Kitchenaid and measure the ingredients. They pour it all in (with a little guidance from me), stir in whatever we are adding to it, and press it into the pan.  Did I mention this is such an easy recipe?
Granola Bars
4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups  whole wheat flour (or coconut flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp  vanilla 
1 cup butter, softened (or peanut butter tastes good too!)

1 cup honey
Add-ins: chocolate chips, chopped walnutsdried fruits, sunflower seeds, coconut, nuts.  (Our favorite combination is dark chocolate chips, almonds, dried cherries and shredded coconut!  YUM!)
Lightly butter a 9×13-inch pan.  In a large mixing bowl combine butter and honey first.  Add all ingredients except add-ins.  Beat until combined.  Fold in add-ins.  Press mixture into pan — Use your hands to really get it packed in there otherwise the bars will fall apart.  Bake at 325 degrees for 18-25 minutes until golden brown.  Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into bars.  Let bars cool completely in pan before removing and serving. 

Sometimes we like the bars crunchy.  Just put the individual bars on a cookie sheet and bake in a 325 degree oven for 10-13 minutes.  Wait until they have cooled completely before devouring!

NOTE: The mix may feel dry and crumbly when you put it into the pan.  I resist the urge each time to add a small amount of water and they come out perfectly.  Make sure you press the mixture into the pan as much as you can, otherwise it will come out just as crumbly as when you put it into the pan.  I made the mistake of not pressing them into the pan at all.  Basically what you will have is clumpy granola, which is delicious, it just won't form into bars.  Yup been there, done that!

All of the ingredients are organic with the exception of the baking soda.  Sorry I just haven't felt the real need to make the switch yet.  If you know something I do not, please feel free to let me know!

This recipe for us makes about 15-20 bars, depending on how big you cut them. In our house the bars usually last us a little more than a week!   

I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!  

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