Updated: Feb 23, 2022
I love granola bars. The sweetness. The chewy crunch. The fact that they fall somewhere between cookie and candy bar but are usually listed as “healthy.” However, if you’ve ever looked at the ingredients list or checked the nutrition chart on the back of the box, with the exception of a few companies, there’s almost nothing healthy about them. Looking at the ingredients for one of the top brands of Chocolate Cherry granola bars I found corn syrup, corn starch, three different types of sugar, and a couple of unpronounceable preservatives.
So, when D was looking for snacks to take with him for work, and we had an abundance of oatmeal on hand I decided to try making some granola bars myself. Turns out it was super simple. With just a few minutes of my day and very little effort, I had a whole stack of simple wholesome, and delicious granola bars. So delicious in fact, that I was “forced” into making two more batches of them the next day. And, I’ll no doubt be making them for the rest of my days from now on. I used the wonderful Granola Bar Base recipe from Bless this Mess as my starting point and then made a few adjustments.
CHOCOLATE CHERRY GRANOLA BARS
2 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
½ cup slivered almonds
⅛ cup chia seeds
⅛ cup flax seeds
¼ cup raw honey
¼ cup butter
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup dried cherries
¼ cup mini chocolate chips
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment or foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.
• Spread dry ingredients in a thin layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast for 8-10 minutes, stirring once then transfer to a large bowl.
• While the dry ingredients are toasting, add the honey, butter, and brown sugar to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. When the butter mixture is ready, remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
• Pour this mixture over the oat and nut mixture and stir to combine.
• Add cherries and stir to combine. Make sure none of the oats are dry.
Let cool for about 15 minutes before adding the chocolate and then stir to combine.
Scoop the granola bar mixture into the parchment prepared pan. Using a rubber spatula press the mixture into the pan until you achieve a uniform thickness.
Let chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Using the edges of parchment paper, lift the bars from the pan and cut them into desired shapes/sizes.
*For best storage, individually wrap your granola bars in wax or parchment paper to keep them from sticking, and store them in the fridge.
Until next time,