One of my favorite things to make is homemade granola. My 7 year old loves eating it mixed in yogurt after school. I like making it myself because I can control the ingredients. I find that most pre-made varieties, or even recipes for that matter, call for far too much sugar & fat. The same can be said for granola bars. I came across this recipe on another site I like to look at. I decided to make them, but I definitely added my own variations.....they sounded more like cookies, if not worse, and I wanted them to be somewhat healthy. My kids are super excited about them and it was fun to make them. Enjoy!
3-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats (I used 1 1/2 c. quick-cooking, 1 1/2 c. old-fashioned oats, and 1/2 c. puffed millet)
1/2 cup whole almonds, chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup butter, melted (WHOA, way too much butter so I used 1/3 c. butter, 3 TBS. canola oil, and 2 TBS. unsweetened applesauce)
1/2 cup honey (I used 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sunflower kernels (didn't have any, so omitted)
1/2 cup shaved sweetened coconut (I used unsweetened coconut)
1/2 cup chopped dried apples
1/2 cup dried cranberries (didn't have any and don't really like, so I just used dried apricots, peaches and pears)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (totally omitted)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
(I also added about 2 TBS. ground flax seed for some more added nutrition - beautiful thing with that stuff is you can't even taste it)
Spray a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan (I don't have a pan this size. I have plenty of 9X13 and jelly roll pans,which are about 12X17, so I just went with the jelly roll pan) with cooking non-stick cooking spray. Add oats and almonds to the pan. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until toasted, stirring occasionally.
In a large bowl, mix the egg, butter, honey and vanilla together. Then add the sunflower kernels, coconut, apples, cranberries, brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir to coat.
Then stir in oat mixture and press into a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan that has been coated with cooking spray (I was worried since I lessened the amount of honey that it wasn't going to hold together, so I did add about 2 TBS. maple syrup). Bake at 350° for 13-18 minutes or until set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container.