Bad news over here. I’m only 24 years old and I have high cholesterol. Wait what? (I know…it’s crazy!) I made an apt with the doctor but he can’t see me for another month!! So in the meantime, I’m going to take matters into my own hands and eat healthier foods (I thought I was doing this already, but I guess I need to be even MORE healthy).
Thus, homemade chewy granola bars! Oats help lower cholesterol, and I don’t really like oatmeal, so I’m trying out these bars instead! I’m currently eating one and I gotta say, they are pretty dang good!! The best thing is that you can CUSTOMIZE them to you taste preferences! Add in whatever sounds good to YOU in granola bars, and then try a new combo the next time you make them!
- 2 cups quick rolled oats
- 1/3 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (I use 1/3; use more if you like things sweeter)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup dried fruits (choose whatever variety you want, I did raisins!)
- 1 cup nuts (choose whatever variety you want, I did almonds, pecans, and sunflower seeds)
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I left these out, but I think I’ll add them in next time)
- 1/3 cup peanut butter or another nut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola
- 2 tablespoons water
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Line a 9×13″ pan with parchment paper (I don’t even bother to grease it). Set aside.
- Stir together all dry ingredients.
- Separately, in a microwave-safe bowl, combine the nut butter, melted butter, honey or maple syrup, oil and water and microwave for about 1 minute and stir halfway through.
- Pour liquid mixture over dry ingredients and stir to thoroughly combine.
- Transfer the mixture to the baking pan, using the back of a spoon (or your hands) to firmly press the mixture into the pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
- Let cool completely in the pan.
- Use the parchment paper as handles to lift the baked mixture out of the pan, then slice into bars with a sharp knife. (If the mixture seems too crumbly, try chilling in the fridge for 20 minutes or so.)
- Wrap them in saran wrap for individual use.
- Store the bars stacked in an airtight container, preferably in the fridge. They also freeze well.