I have always [and by always I mean since I discovered Pinterest and realized that people do stuff like this] wanted to make my own Granola Bars, rather than buying store bought ones. I don’t really have anything against store bought things, I just like to try things for myself and see if you can do a better job, or a least stay on par, with the prepackaged food industry. So after searching for a while and looking over several different homemade granola bar recipes I found one with limited ingredients and easy preparation.
Since we have been working out in the mornings it’s nice to have a little bite of something before we start just so we have a little fuel in us and so we have been sharing a Nature Valley Granola bar. When we ran out of those, instead of going out to buy more I decided it would be a prime time to try to make my own bars for our pre-workout or anytime snack. So I tried these, and got a very wonderful response from my husband! He really liked them and the first batch was gone in a couple of days. So the next time I made them I double the recipe and made a few modifications; those lasted about a week. It made me feel really good to hear my husband say that I should market and sell them because they were so tasty! I mean when you get that kind of compliment, why go back to the store bought ones with preservatives and extra additives! Sometimes with ingredients, less is more. So today I made my third batch of granola bars and I thought I would share that with the blogging world.
This recipe was adapted, doubled, and slightly modified from The Marathon Mom.
The Weather Man’s Granola Bars
1 cup Crunchy Peanut Butter
2/3 cup Honey
6 tablespoons Butter [original recipe called for 4 tablespoons, so instead of completely doubling I just went to 6 and it seems to be working fine.]
2 cups Old Fashion Oats [I usually make these heaping cups, and even add in a little extra]
4 tablespoons Wheat Germ
1 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
Step 1: Melt the butter, peanut butter (I used crunchy for that little bit of extra texture in the granola bars, but if you prefer creamy I won’t hold it against you), and honey over medium to low heat, stirring constantly. When melted, turn off the heat.
Step 2: Stir in oats and wheat germ until completely combined. [I usually end up adding about an extra 1/4 cup of oats because it always seems a little too creamy.]
Step 3: Wait 30 minutes to 1 hour for mixture to cool, the stir in the chocolate chips. This will prevent them from melting, unless you would like them to be chocolately all over, the go ahead and put them in right after the oats are mixed in.
Step 4: Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil and pour in the mixture. Even out with spatula or by pressing down with your hands. Stick the pan and your refrigerator to chill for a few hours.
Step 5: Pull out foil or flip the granola onto a cutting board and cut them into your desired size. I cut them in to various sizes of squares. That seems to be just the right amount for us to have a pre-workout or after school snack.
I store them in the fridge in a tupperware container. I just feel like they are better if they stay chilled, but that’s just me.
And there you have it. Dark Chocolate Granola bars. And you do not have to use dark chocolate, that is just what my husband and I prefer. You can use milk chocolate chips, or probably peanut butter or butter scotch. Or White chocolate. Or coconut, or pecans, or whatever floats your boat! I think this is probably a very forgiving recipe. I still probably haven’t gotten it down to a science yet, but these things take time. I almost didn’t get the wheat germ, because I figured you could make it without and it wouldn’t make much of a difference, which I’m sure is still true. But I think that it adds some good nutritional value to the granola bars with the vitamin E and Folic Acid that it contains. And you can put it on or in other things as well, such as just regular cereal or oatmeal, smoothies, or breading for chicken strips. I think it’ll be a good investment. If nothing else, I’ll use it to make these granola bars!