For the record, no, I do not always make homemade granola bars for my children. Most of the time they eat Clif Z Bars (chocolate chip preferably) which I buy in bulk at Target. But every now and then I get a wild hair to channel my inner Martha Stewart and do something really domestic. Like making homemade granola bars. (I have also attempted vegan, organic, marshmallow-free, Rice Krispie treats using Alicia Silverstone’s recipe in The Kind Diet – not bad but a little sticky.)
I had to make these because the very idea of baking homemade granola bars on a cold winter’s day makes me happy. If you can bake cookies you can pull this off – and use any kind of dried fruit your children like – dried cherries are a big hit around here. Just imagine the smiling faces you’ll have at the counter you if you offer up one of these and a big glass of milk or hot cocoa after school. Ah, to be a kid again.
PS – For you email subscribers, Tuesday’s post did not go out by email due to a WordPress glitch…here’s the link so you don’t miss it!
Chewy Fruit and Oatmeal Bars
Makes two dozen bars
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 (8 oz.) container of vanilla or plain yogurt
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or equivalent amount of applesauce)
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (you can substitute 1/2 – 1 cup whole wheat flour for equal amount of all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups quick cooking oatmeal
1 cup dried mixed fruit, raisins, or cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine sugars, yogurt, egg whites, oil, milk and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Mix until well combined. In another bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gently add flour mixture to yogurt mixture and stir to combine. Stir in oats and dried fruit.
2. Spread dough into an ungreased 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
3. Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars and store tightly covered.