GRANOLA (WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, BROWNSUGAR, CRISP RICE [RICE FLOUR,
SUGAR, SALT, MALTED BARLEY EXTRACT],WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED WHEAT,
SOYBEAN OIL, DRIED COCONUT, WHOLE WHEATFLOUR, SODIUM BICARBONATE,
SOY LECITHIN, CARAMEL COLOR, NONFAT DRYMILK), SEMISWEET CHOCOLATE
CHIPS (SUGAR, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, COCOABUTTER, SOY LECITHIN, VANILLA
EXTRACT), CORN SYRUP, BROWN RICE CRISP(WHOLE GRAIN BROWN RICE,
SUGAR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, SALT), INVERTSUGAR, SUGAR, CORN
SYRUP SOLIDS, GLYCERIN, SOYBEAN OIL. CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF SORBITOL,
CALCIUM CARBONATE, SALT, WATER, SOY LECITHIN, MOLASSES, NATURAL
ANDARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, BHT (PRESERVATIVE), CITRIC ACID.
Scary, I know. I am much more enlightened now and haven't bought any granola bars for two years. Instead, I've been trying different recipes and getting feedback from the peanut gallery. Finally, I think I have found a recipe that works for us. I reworked the recipe a little, of course, to make it even a little better. I like these granola bars because they are moist and chewy...not at all dry like most of the healthier homemade granola bars I have tried.Best of all, I know all of the ingredients and I recognize and can pronounce every one. And they are a hit at my house. With 1 teenager, 2 preteens, and myself and my husband...one batch goes very quickly...too quickly...
The link to the original recipe by CMOTSINGER on SparkRecipes is here. It is good. My version is below. Check out SparkRecipes on sparkpeople.com for more cool recipes.
Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
Number of Servings: Depends on how you cut them.
2 cups quick oats or organic regular oats pulsed into quick cooking size
1 c whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 c brown sugar (next time, I will try using a little less)
1/2 c mini semi sweet chocolate chips (you can use regular sized chips too or dark choclate chips if that is your thing.)
1/2 c ground flax
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c chopped nuts
1/2 c all natural, unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c honey
2 Tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp water
Preheat oven to 350F, line 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper.
In large bowl, stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, chocolate chips, ground flax, chia seeds, cinnamon, and nuts. In smaller bowl blend applesauce, honey, egg, water and vanilla. Pour into the flour mixture, and mix until the liquid is evenly distributed. If for some reason it seems dry, add a little more water. Mine is always fine the way the recipe is written, but it can seem not as moist if your applesauce is super thick. Use your best judgement. Press into the prepared pan.
Bake 20 min or until the edges are golden. Cool completely in pan before placing on cutting board and cutting into bars. I cooked mine till it was lightly browned on top too...your choice.
Tips: If you take the bars out too soon, before they are cooled completely, they might break apart. Let them cool first.
Any kind of nuts can be used. The original recipe called for pecans, but use whatever nut your family enjoys. slice almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, pepitas, and walnuts all work well. You can also use a mixture of nuts and raisins or other dried fruit. I think that would work well too. Just play with it according to your own tastes.
I usually use the applesauce in this recipe, however, I was out so today I used 1/2 c canola oil which is what the original recipe calls for.
I use ground flax, but oat bran or wheat germ would also work.
I am a vegetarian, but I do eat eggs. If you do not, use either an egg substitute or try a flax-water mix.
This granola bar is great as an afternoon snack or as a compliment to any lunch. We take it with us a lot to our son's football games so we have a vegetarian, healthy snack should we get hungry.