Melissa’s Menu: Homemade Granola Bars

When you’re rushing from class to class or looking for a quick after-school snack, there’s nothing quite like a granola bar. They’re easy to eat, mess-free and can actually be pretty healthy. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Scrivani)

When you’re rushing from class to class or looking for a quick after-school snack, there’s nothing quite like a granola bar. They’re easy to eat, mess-free and can actually be pretty healthy. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Scrivani)

When you’re rushing from class to class or looking for a quick after-school snack, there’s nothing quite like a granola bar. They’re easy to eat, mess-free and can actually be pretty healthy. That’s why this week’s recipe is homemade granola bars. They are super easy to make and can be stored in a freezer or container so they’re available whenever you want one.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While it’s heating up, butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper. Toss the oatmeal, almonds and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Once you take the oatmeal mixture out of the oven, reduce the temperature to 300 degrees. Add the oatmeal mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ. Mix the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and lightly stir for about a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots and cranberries and stir well. Pour the mixture into the buttered baking dish from earlier. Lightly press the mixture evenly into the dish with a spatula or even your hands. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool for at least two to three hours before cutting into squares.

While it can be easy to buy granola bars from the grocery store, what I love about this homemade recipe is that it cuts out so many preservatives and is much more natural and healthy. It also tastes much better. Another great thing about this recipe is that you can personalize it however you want. You can switch the dates, apricots and cranberries for whatever dried fruit you prefer or add in something sweet, such as chocolate chips. Nothing beats these homemade granola bars for a quick breakfast or snack!


Melissa Scrivani is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at melissa.scrivani@uconn.edu.