after school snack.

This is the first September in 20 of my (almost) 25 years that I haven’t gone “back to school.”  Now that I’m not in school, what am I busy doing?  Baking granola bars, of course!

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In my opinion, the best part about being in school (besides gaining a valuable education, not working, blah blah blah) is the after school snack.  It’s a pretty solid tradition for most kids, and in some cases, 20-somethings.  One of the key players in the after school snack tradition is the granola bar.  It’s easy, it’s neat, and it’s delicious.  Unfortunately, it can also be packed with a ton of stuff we don’t associate with “healthy granola” – and sometimes, the actual healthy granola bars can be pretty expensive!

So here’s my attempt at home-made granola bars!  I went for dark chocolate chip, cherry and almond – but you could substitute your personal favorites.  I also went for the “chewy” variety.  I think that if you prefer crunchy granola bars, you could probably leave out the egg whites and baking powder, and reduce the apple sauce by about half.   These were very easy to make – the hardest part was waiting for them to cool off before eating one!

Granola Bars

2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
1/2 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 egg whites
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup dried tart cherries
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 325.

Spread oats and almonds on a baking sheet, and toast in the oven for about 10-15 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant.

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Meanwhile, spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray, and line the dish with parchment paper.

After oats and almonds are toasted transfer them to a bowl, add the wheat germ, and stir to combine.  Add the baking powder, applesauce, egg whites, vanilla, honey, brown sugar and salt to the oats mixture, and combine thoroughly.  Fold in the cherries and chocolate chips.

Transfer the granola mixture to the prepared baking dish, spreading out an even layer and pressing down firmly with clean hands.  If you prefer your granola bars crunchier, you may want to spread the layer as thinly as possible within the dish.

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Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top of the granola is lightly browned.

Remove from the oven, and carefully lift the parchment paper out of the baking dish to transfer the granola to a wire rack to cool completely.  The granola must be completely cooled (about 3 hours) before it can be cut into bars.  Store them in the fridge.

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11 Comments

  1. Ema says:

    Wow, I must try them.

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  4. Carole says:

    Hi Tudy:
    Joe told me this was the best yet! I will try this soon because I love anything dipped in egg and slathered in bread crumbs (as do all Italians), so your version looks like a great option.
    BTW, you’re getting a big following . . . cookbook coming out soon? ;)

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