Ever tried to make granola bars and end up with crumbly granola instead of an oat mix that keeps a bar shape? A common affliction indeed. We tried Alton Brown’s granola bars, but those suckers just didn’t stick together. We gave up on granola bars for a while until the latest issue of Everyday Food came in the mail. Emeril Lagasse has a “nutty” granola bar recipe, and we’re delighted with the results!
Get as much of your mise en place together as you can as there are many pieces to this recipe. Heat the oven to 325 and cover a large baking sheet with foil. Lightly spray the sheet with cooking spray. In a big bowl, mix 3 cups rolled oats and a pinch of salt with 6 ounces (measure it on a scale or eyeball it) slivered almonds. Stacey buys whole raw almonds and chops them, but this makes the recipe that much more laborious.
Cook ¼ cup honey and 2 Tablespoons butter in a small saucepan on medium-low until melted and then drizzle and combine with the oat mixture. Spread the mix on the cookie sheet and bake in intervals of 5 or 10 minutes, moving it around the pan each time your timer beeps. The oat mix should toast to a crispy, happy brown in less than 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and as it cools, take out the small saucepan again and add ½ cup honey, 1/3 cup almond butter, and ¼ cup brown sugar. Stir on medium until sugar dissolves.
Put your oat mixture back in the big bowl, add a generous cup of dried fruit (we love cranberries and/or cherries) and then pour the warm honey mix in the bowl and stir all ingredients to blend. Transfer to a lightly sprayed or buttered 8×8” dish and refrigerate until hardened and cooled.
These bars have become a staple in Stacey’s home, and you’re sure to love the recipe, too. The bars freeze well, so you could even double the recipe, refrigerate in a larger pan and keep them on hand as a healthy on-the-go snack.
Homemade granola bars are a wonderful alternative to the store bought selection because you can control the ingredients and add what you like. Many consider granola bars a health food, but we’d say they wear the “health halo” because they can be high in calories and fat while offering little in terms of fiber or protein. Keep portions in mind, whether homemade or not, and pair them with fruit or a cheese stick for snack, or include one as a sweet spot during lunch.