Everybody likes granola bars but did you know that they are super simple and cheap to make at home? When you make homemade granola bars you can customize the flavor and texture to suit your particular tastes and you can make them as nutritious or decadent as you like. The recipe is very basic and only requires a few minutes of hands on preparation followed by a quick trip through the oven. At the end you have a huge tray of delicious snacks that will keep nicely in a covered container for at least a week.
All granola bars are a simple mixture of rolled oats, flour, sweetener, fat and add ins such as; dried fruits, nuts, seeds, spices, chocolate chips, pretzel pieces, flaked coconut or puffed grains. By making them yourself you get to choose exactly what to add in and how much of each add in you want. You are free to choose your personal favorite flavor combinations or you can copy the flavor combinations from your favorite commercial brands. By experimenting with ingredients you can create completely new flavors and textures.
The addition of unusual ingredients such as popcorn, pretzels or puffed grains will change the texture of the finished bars in new and unexpected ways. You can also try adding ingredients in a different way to change the final effect, for example, when using chocolate chips don’t add them to the mix instead wait for the finished tray to come out of the oven and then pour the chips over the top of the granola. The residual heat from the granola will quickly melt the chocolate chips and then you can spread the chocolate out evenly over the top of the granola. When the granola cools, the chocolate will re-harden giving you a chocolate coated granola bar instead of a granola bar with chocolate chips inside. Simply changing when you add the chocolate makes the taste different, even though the ingredients are the same.
If you have a dietary restriction or allergy it is easy to simply avoid the ingredients that trouble you, this makes homemade granola bars perfect for Gluten Intolerance, Dairy Allergies, Nut Allergies and Soy Allergies. If you have kids, you can make a tasty and nutritious snack for their lunch boxes or if you want an alternative to overly sweet candy bars you can add in small amounts of candy such as mini-M & Ms to make them into a granola/candy hybrid that satisfies both you and the kids.
Another advantage to homemade granola bars vs. store-bought is that you can avoid the artificial colors, fillers, chemicals and preservatives that are commonly found in commercially prepared foods. You can feel comfortable knowing that your great tasting, homemade snacks are also natural and healthy for your family to eat and that you are making the most out of your food budget.