I love granola. It’s my personal breakfast of choice.
I love making homemade granola with toasted oats, nuts, and lots of chunky dried fruit all tossed in a delicious sweet, honeyed syrup.
This past week, the team I am blessed to be a part of at work, welcomed a new hire and we wanted to welcome her with great style in our own warm way. To me, that means food, so I suggested an informal breakfast gathering and volunteered to bring a few nibbles.
One of the items I brought with me Monday morning was my Homemade Granola bars and boy were they a big hit!
Here’s how it all went down…
Homemade Granola Bars
(adapted from Ina Garten’s Granola Bar Recipe)
Here is what you need:
- 2 heaping cups Old Fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
- 1 1/2 cups assorted dried fruit (For this recipe, I used dried apricots, raisins, and dried cranberries, but I have also had great success with dried cherries, dates, and figs in the past. Just add 1/2 cup of each fruit. This adds great texture and color to the bars.)
- 3 tablespoons butter, I use unsalted
- 2/3 cup raw local honey
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly-packed
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray a sheet tray with non-stick spray and toss oats, coconut, and almonds in even layer to toast in oven for 10-12 minutes, stir halfway through cooking process to promote event toasting and browning.
2. Transfer toasted oat mixture to large mixing bowl and throw in the 1/2 cup wheat germ while warm. The smell is fantastic!
Then prep your dried fruit, chunk them up, and set aside.
Just look at all those pretty colors!
3. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute until dissolved and not gritty, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dried fruit and toss well.
The syrup is thick, luscious, and becomes the most beautiful shade of honeyed-amber.
4. Pour the mixture into the prepared 9×13 pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 300 degrees, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.
My coworkers absolutely loved them and I loved making them for them. What can I say? Making and sharing food is my love language. That’s a love language right? Right?