(Healthier) No-Bake Granola Bars

healthier no-bake granola bars

It has been HOT here this week. We all tend to lose our appetites when it’s so hot out so we’ve been keeping mealtimes really simple by having lot’s of salads, fruits and veggies with a little side of grilled meat. I didn’t turn on my oven once this week, but in preparation for our camping trip coming up, I wanted to prepare some “baked goods”. Enter the delight of the “no-bake goods”.

I really like my original no-bake granola bars, but I didn’t make them too often because I started feeling guilty about the amount of sugar in them. Fine for dessert, but for a mid-day snack that I’m going to be feeding my children? Not so much. So, I tried out a new version, a healthier version, added a few more things to make it more nutritious and now I’ve got a no-bake granola bar without the guilt.

These granola bars are chewy and sweet, with the taste of honey, toasted oats and nuts and little bites of sweet, plump raisins. Package them up and bring them along on your picnics or trips to the beach. Who needs those wimpy store-bought granola bars when you can have such delicious ones, so simply, at home?

(Healthier) No-Bake Granola Bars
 
To make these gluten-free use gluten-free certified oats.
Makes: 12 bars
Ingredients
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
  • ½ cup dried fruit (I used raisins)
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • pinch salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. In a medium-sized skillet, toast oats and nuts over medium heat until fragrant. Remove to a bowl, along with dried fruit and set aside.
  2. In the same skillet add butter, honey, brown sugar and salt. Cook until bubbling and then continue to cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over oat mixture; stir well until evenly coated.
  3. Press into a 8×8 inch baking pan, lined with parchment paper. Wet fingers to keep from sticking. You want the pack to be quite firm.
  4. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up. Using the edges of the parchment paper, remove from pan. Using a serrated knife cut the bars in half and then into 6, creating 12 granola bars. Store, covered, at room temperature. Separate with pieces of parchment or wax paper, if stacking on top of each other.

Adapted from Lauren’s Latest. Originally from Rachael Ray.