Thick, Chewy Granola Bars

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I have just made my third batch of Thick, Chewy Granola Bars in as many days.

After spying this recipe, I thought:

Easily customized.
Breakfast on the go.
Freezable. (Yes, I am obsessed. And on the hunt for a deep-freeze.)


The first batch never made it out of the pan, let alone all the way to the freezer.

The second batch included some modifications intended to dial down the treat factor and amp up the nutritional value.

Apparently, these alterations were not sufficient, as their sweetness led to a topsy-turvy argument with my seven year old:

After downing a bar in record time yesterday morning, he asked, "What's for breakfast?"

"What do you mean?" I asked. "That was breakfast."

Speaking slowly, in a tone usually reserved for folks teetering on window ledges, this child, who wouldn't normally touch a nut or an oat for love or money, explained,

"That wasn't breakfast... that was a treat. Where are the eggs?"

He may have a point.

But this is a treat I am feeling pretty darn good about.

The recipe says to let the bars cool for 20 minutes before cutting, but I defy you not to eat them warm, straight out of the pan.

Especially if you include a handful of dark chocolate chips.

I did. Hence the need for batch number three.

Here's my take on Thick, Chewy Granola Bars:

1⅓ cups quick rolled oats
½-¾ cup evaporated cane juice¹
⅓ cup almond meal²
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
3 cups mixed fruits, nuts and seeds³
⅓ cup natural peanut butter
1 tbs vanilla
6 tbs melted butter
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tbs light corn syrup
1 tbs water

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Lightly grease a square pan and line with baking paper. Combine the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients, including the peanut butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and combine until moist and crumbly. Spread the mixture into the square pan and, using a large piece of cling wrap as a barrier, press the mixture down using your hands until it is firmly packed and evenly spread. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the edges brown and the top is golden. Allow it to cool in the pan (if you can resist nibbling) before cutting and wrapping individually. May be stored in the freezer.

1. Evaporated cane juice (a sugar cane product) is a less refined alternative to the regular sugar in the original recipe.
2. The original recipe called for 1/3 cup of finely ground oats (blitzed in a food processor), but I swapped it for almond meal for added protein and because my food processor has died.
3. I used 3 cups of: dried cherries, chopped; toasted almonds, chopped; pistachios; sunflower kernels, pepitas; shredded coconut; and a small handful of dark chocolate chips or finely chopped 70% dark chocolate.


  1. These are my favourite to date....we(my girfriend Jane & I)could not stop eating them this morning. It's the only thing that keep us quite in a place where we should not have been talking so loud!!! x

  2. Sharon, SO glad you liked them! Will send more your way soon....xo

  3. I need to make some granola bars!!!

  4. Are Cane Juice and corn syrup readily available? (Can't say I've ever heard of either - philistine that I am - yet alone them!) I'm assuming with our school's no nut policy we couldn't send these with the peanut butter? Ah well guess we will just have to eat them all at home....

  5. Jane, the evaporated cane juice was sourced at the Organic Market, in Stirling, but you can just use regular or brown sugar! The corn syrup is found a most health food stores - ironic, as it isn't exactly 'healthy' - it is just sweet, gluey stuff that acts a bit like glue and helps keep the bars together, and is a principle ingredient in marshmallows. The health food shop in Burnside Village (near Coles; you might even find it IN Coles) usually has it, as does Goodies and Grains in the Central Market (and, of course the Organic Mkt in Stirling - they have EVERYTHING). These granola bars are definitely NOT for school - I have been keeping a few in a tupperware container in the car for a post-school, pre-non-school sport snack.

  6. uh-oh, just realized...I broke my own meal policy! I will have to claim an exemption for anything that is more than is 80% nuts and seeds and oats:)


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