DIY Granola Bars

Every Fall, The Race for the Cure happens on the beautiful Portland waterfront. This year, Standard TV & Appliance is a mainstage sponsor of the event, and they’ve asked me to hare a healthy recipe to keep runners (and walkers) of the event fueled up! These DIY Granola Bars are the perfect option because they’re simple, customizable, and delicious!

I make these granola bars and keep them stocked in the freezer. They’re perfect for packed lunches, after school snacks, and on-the-go fuel!

What You’ll Need:

·       2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

·       1/2 cup nuts (your choice!), roughly chopped

·       1/4 cup honey

·       ½ tsp. cinnamon

·       1/4 cup grass-fed butter or coconut oil

·       1/3 cup brown sugar

·       1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

·       1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

·       3/4 cups total extra mix-ins (Choose between adding in more nuts, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, coconut flakes, M&Ms, dried fruit, sunflower seeds… your imagination is the only thing that sets the limits here!)

The Method:

1.    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” square baking dish with parchment paper and spray with nonstick, and set aside.

2.    Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray with nonstick or rub wit coconut oil, then place the oats and nuts onto the sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly toasted. When the oats are finished toasting, place them in a large bowl and sprinkle with cinnamon.

3.    Meanwhile, while the oats are toasting, add the honey, butter, and brown sugar to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. When butter mixture is ready, remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Pour this mixture over the oat and nut mixture and stir to combine.

4.    Add in the fixins (wait a few minutes if adding chocolate, so the mixture cools) and stir to combine. Make sure none of the oats are dry. Spread the oat mixture into the 9” square baking dish using a rubber spatula. Press down evenly on mixture so bars are consistent.

5.    Chill the granola bars for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. Lift the bars from the pan using the edges of the foil or parchment and place them on a cutting board. Cut into desired shape/sizes and serve. (I use a cookie cutter or very large knife.)

These store very well in the fridge or freezer. You may want to wrap them in a bit of parchment paper before putting them in a container or plastic bag in the fridge so that they don’t stick together.