Marshall and I have this routine of always having breakfast together. It’s kind of like a date except we are at home, and if Estella wakes up early she gets to join us : ) …so not really like a date at all I suppose, but it is still set aside time that we know we will spend together every morning. We are both breakfast eaters so there is never the question of if we will eat breakfast, just what we will eat for breakfast. Since a lot of the things we like to have require some amount of prep (some even the night before), before heading to bed we always discuss what we will have for breakfast the next morning so that I can either start the prep then or leave enough time in the morning to make it. There is another category of prep though, and that is where these homemade granola bars come in.
These homemade granola bars fall into the category of breakfasts that can be made any time of day to have on hand for those mornings when you don’t have time to make breakfast. No prep the night before or in the morning. They have made many an appearance at our breakfast table and have surely passed the test of time in our home. These still require time to be made, but it’s convenient that you can make them whenever you want to and you don’t need time in the morning.
Once you get the hang of making these you’ll be able to whip them up quickly, with the exception of the few hours in the fridge that they need to firm up and hold together.
These are nutty, chewy, chocolatey, sweet, healthy, and delicious!
MY FAVORITE HOMEMADE GRANOLA BARS
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup nuts of choice
1/4 cup sesame seeds
3/4 cup ground flax meal
1/2 cup cacao nibs or mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried fruit of choice, chopped if using a larger fruit
1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut – optional
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the oats, nuts, and seseame seeds on a baking tray and roast for 10 minutes or until frangrant and lightly golden. Set aside to cool until ready to use.
In a large bowl, combine flax meal, cacao nibs, dried fruit, shredded coconut, cinnamon and salt.
In a small pot, combine the honey, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Gently heat until coconut oil melts and honey is thin.
Combine all ingredients into the large bowl and mix well.
Line a 9×13 pan with sides at least 1 inch deep with wax paper. Dump entire contents of the bowl into the pan, spread out evenly, place another layer of wax paper over the top, and then press firmly into the pan so that they hold together once chilled. Place in the fridge for at least 3 – 4 hours before cutting into bars. Store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
-Use 1/2 cup puffed millet in place of 1/2 cup oats for a lighter, chewier texture (the puffed millet should not be toasted).
-If using chocolate chips instead of cacao nibs make sure your oats are well cooled before you combine everything so that the chocolate chips don’t completely melt (unless you want the chocolate melted and spread throughout!).
-You can use a smaller pan if you prefer a thicker bar. These are about 1/2 an inch think.