Tuesday, May 06, 2008

[Kind of] Homemade Granola Bars

My husband acts like a crazy person in the spring. In addition to farming, he has been getting up at 4:00 a.m. to go turkey hunting. When I get up a few hours later, I always find remnants of his breakfast left in the kitchen. Pop Tart wrappers, the plastic from a package of vending-machine-type-cinnamon rolls, or - on a good day - a bowl that contained Lucky Charms. I have to admit that if I got up at 4:00 a.m., I would be so disoriented there's no telling what I might consider a good breakfast, but . . . seriously, I thought it was time for him to have something a little more nutritious for breakfast.

I was looking through an old copy of Everyday with Rachael Ray (getting ready to throw it away) and found a recipe for No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars - perfect. They're portable, so he can even eat one while he's driving [to the farm where he hunts], and I had control of the ingredients. This certainly isn't a health food recipe, but I think it's a big step above Pop Tarts.

Granola Bars

4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 cups granola (without fruit)
1 cup Rice Krispies
Your choice of add-ins:

I added:
Almonds, flax, wheat germ, and peanuts to the base recipe. I topped some bars with chocolate chips, some with fruit (dried cranberries and golden raisins), some with pretzel stick pieces, and left some plain.

Other options:
Coconut, pecans, walnuts, raw sunflower seeds, raisins (or any type of dried fruit), peanut butter chips, etc.


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, honey, and butter. Bring mixture to a boil over medium to medium-high heat; lower to medium-low heat and simmer until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Add granola, Rice Krispies, and sturdy non-melting ingredients (nuts, fruit, pretzels, etc.) to the saucepan; stir until ingredients are evenly coated. Add flax and wheat germ at this point, if using. Transfer to 9x13 ungreased baking pan and press firmly to fill pan evenly (or use 9x9 pan for thicker bars). Press in toppings (chocolate chips). Refrigerate for 15 minutes to help set bars, then cut to desired size.
  3. Optional: Once bars are cut, place on parchment paper and label each variety; cover; cross fingers and hope husband will eat granola bars instead of Cap'n Crunch in the morning. If not, consider incorporating Cap'n Crunch into granola bars next time. Just kidding. Kind of.

Note: Although this recipe calls for butter, it could easily be made dairy free if you use a substitute for butter


AMY VIG said...

Mmm, this sounds good. How did they taste? Maybe to bump up the nutrition you could even use brown rice crisps instead (you can usually find them on a bottom shelf or in a health food store). He wouldn't even know with all that sugary goodness and it would give some extra fiber and slow burning carbs.

Kenzie said...

Great suggestion - thanks, Amy!
Oh, and they taste good - maybe a little on the sweet side, but good!