I’m a bit of a granola snob. Mostly because I eat it on a daily basis in any form possible, be it Homemade Granola Bars or loose granola. It’s just the way of the world.
Lately I’ve been making Homemade Granola Bars with Chocolate Chips, dried fruit and chia seeds. (I’ve been on a bit of a chia kick recently and can’t be stopped!) It’s an epic snack for mid-morning or mid-afternoon hunger and it’s also pretty amazing as a late night nibble if you’ve stayed up too late binge watching 3 seasons of Game of Thrones. (ahem…. me!)
I’ve successfully made it through all 3 seasons of GoT within the last month. (I’ve shaved off 2 hours of sleep a night so I can power through all these episodes!) I can’t even believe I’ve never watched it until this year, it’s quite possibly the best show on TV. And the Red Wedding. Omg, if you’ve seen it, you know what I’m taking about. It rocked my world – in the worst way possible. I don’t know if I’ll ever recover.
I’m now just patiently waiting for season 4 to start and in the mean time I’ll be snacking on these Homemade Granola Bars and counting down the hours
Anyways, about the Homemade Granola Bars! They are stuffed with dried cranberries, golden raisins and plenty of chocolate chips. I’ve been known to throw in dried cherries or apricots if those are on hand too. You can mix and match and kind of dried fruit, just keep the proportions the same so the granola bars stick together properly and hold up when cut! You can serve these right away to a group of people or cut them and wrap each bar in a bit of parchment paper and refrigerate them until ready to eat.
- 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup whole natural almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup orange blossom honey (any honey would work if orange blossom isn’t available)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup dried golden raisins, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, plus extra as needed
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottom of a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper. Then lightly spray the parchment with cooking spray.
- Combine the oats and roughly chopped almonds to a small baking sheet then bake 7-10 minutes until lightly toasted. Transfer to a large bowl.
- While the oats are toasting, combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract seeds, chia and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until butter melts and the sugar completely dissolves, making sure to stir occasionally.
- Pour the butter mixture over the toasted oats and almonds and add the cranberries and golden raisins. Mix well. Let cool about 5 minutes then the mini chocolate chips. Stir to combine.
- Transfer the oat mixture to prepared pan. Using a rubber spatula firmly press the mixture into the pan until the mixture is in a uniform layer.
- Scatter remaining a few extra tablespoons of mini chocolate chips over the granola bars and use the same rubber spatula to gently press them into the granola so they stick. Transfer the entire pan to the refrigerator and chill for 2 hours.
- After the granola has chilled completely, gently lift it out of the pan using the parchment paper as handles and cut it into 12 bars. Serve as needed.
- If you’re waiting to use these, individually wrap them in more parchment paper until ready to eat.