Homemade Granola Bars

 

In part two of my homemade travel breakfast project, I made some more traditional granola bars – oats, nuts and dried fruit stuck together with molasses and honey.

I learned several things in the two versions of these I’ve made so far.  One is that honey is a much better glue than molasses.  The second is that smaller pieces of nuts, oats, etc. stick together better and are less likely to fall apart later.  Both of these are pretty much logically obvious now that I think about them, but as usual I opted for a more trial and error approach at the beginning.  I like to mix things together and see what happens.

Anyway, here is version 2:

DIY Granola Bars

Mix together in a bowl: 1 cup oats, coarsely ground; one cup walnuts, coarsely ground; 1/2 cup raisins, a pinch of salt.

Heat in a large skillet until warm and liquid: 2 Tablespoons molasses & 2 teaspoons honey.  Turn off the heat.

Pour the oat mixture into the skillet and stir until everything is coated.  Pour out onto a piece of parchment paper and shape into a round or square about 1/2 inch thick with your hands, spatula, rolling pin, etc.  Cut into bars, sticking any bits that fall off back to the outsides, and leave to cool and firm up.  Once they are holding together, you can transfer them to a rack and leave for a while to release any moisture trapped between them and the parchment, before packing them away in a tin or baggies.

 

 

These are holding up pretty well so far, they crumble a bit but you can stick them back together.

Adding more honey and less molasses would make a firmer bar, also good if molasses is not your favorite thing.  Bryan claims my current version is for molasses lovers only.  They taste good to me, but then I could eat it with a spoon!

You could also get a more robust bar by using more oats in proportion to nuts, as they seem to stick together better.  Again, this could become a platform for whatever nuts, fruits and spices you like and want to add!  I think these could be fun to make with kids as well, I may try it out the next time I see the nieces.

If you missed part 1, DIY Fruit and Nut Bars, click here or just scroll down to the previous post.

Enjoy!

 

Simplest Granola

 

I often have this urge to distill things down to their essential elements, it helps me figure out just what is going on, and then I can change whatever I would like.

This granola recipe started that way.  It’s a perfect platform for whatever spices, extra nuts, dried fruit, coconut (add these last two after baking) etc. you would like to add to make it your own.  You could also substitute honey or another sweetener, and/or the oil of your choice, and/or different grains. Personally, I like the simple toasted-oats-and-molasses flavor of this one so much that I keep making it, just as it is.

 

Simplest Granola

Melt over low heat in a large skillet:

2 Tablespoons butter

1 heaping Tablespoon molasses

When warm and melted add:

6 cups oats (I like thick cut)

Stir immediately and keep stirring until the oats are uniformly barely coated.  It seems like there is not enough molasses and butter, but, just keep stirring.

Add:

1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts etc.)

Mix.

Scoop onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350°, stirring every five minutes to keep the edges from getting too brown.  Do this three or four times until lightly toasted all over.  Let cool.

 

What’s in your favorite granola?