If you and your family love granola bars but are suspicious about the ingredients they contain – namely high-fructose corn syrups, unnecessary additives, preservatives and bad for you hydrogenated oils – you’ll be happy to know that making your own is easy. Granola bars make an epic on-the-go breakfast, snack or dessert and are pretty amazing as a late-night nibble if you’re staying up late to binge-watch Netflix. With a strong philosophy of using old-world methods in their extra virgin olive oils, Oleiva consistently shares delicious and easy recipes that you will feel good about. Visit their website at oleiva.ca or their Facebook page for more recipe ideas.
Homemade Chewy Granola Bars
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
• 2 cups (500 mL) oats
• 1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar or sweetener
• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
• 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cinnamon or other spices as desired (cardamom, nutmeg, etc.)
• 2 1/2 cups (300 g) additions: dried fruits, seeds, nuts, flax meal, bran cereal, puffed rice cereal, crushed pretzels, chocolate chips, etc.
• 1/3 cup (80 mL) peanut or other nut butter
• 6 tbsp (90 mL) Oleiva Traditional Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 1/4 cup (60 mL) honey, maple syrup or agave syrup
• 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) water
1. Preheat oven to 180˚C (350˚F). Depending on desired thickness, line a square (8×8 or 9×9) or rectangular (9×13) baking dish with parchment paper, then lightly grease with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Thicker bars are a little more decadent, if you’re planning on using this as a dessert.
2. Process 1/3 cup (80 mL) of the oats in a blender or food processor until finely ground.
3. If necessary, chop up dried fruit and nuts. Raisin-size pieces are fine, but bigger pieces like dried apricots or apples should probably be chopped.
4. Stir together all dry ingredients — oats, ground oats, sugar, salt, cinnamon, fruits/nuts/seeds.
5. Whisk together wet ingredients — olive oil, honey, peanut butter and water.
6. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients, then spread in the pan. Press firmly into corners and edges so the top is even.
7. Bake for around 30 minutes, until the top starts to brown. Thicker bars will likely take longer, so you’ll need to watch them depending on how much batter you’ve spread in what size pan. The edges will become deep golden and they may feel underdone in the center, but that’s okay. They’ll firm quite nicely as they cool.
8. Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes, then take them out using the parchment. Let cool completely before cutting.