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I have mentioned several times that I have never been a breakfast person. I get that from my mama. She has never been a breakfast eater either. It’s not that we don’t like breakfast, it is just the very thought of eating so early in the morning isn’t something we particularly want to do. We prefer to get up and rustle around a bit first. Unfortunately, for me, that usually means I am starving by the time I realize I need to eat something. That’s why I fell in love with the grab and go granola bars. You can grab a bar and go about your day without having to give much thought about what to eat for breakfast. I mean really, David and I get up at the O’ Butt-Crack-O-Dawn, who has time for breakfast that early in the morning anyway? We don’t!
This recipe was inspired by my favorite Food Network host, Ina Garten. I started making these granola bars many years ago when David and I were still living on Bull Run Mountain. I can still see the bars laying out to cool on the bright yellow Formica countertop and the way the wonderful smell of the brown sugar and honey permeated the air of the drafty rental house.
After many years of making these granola bars, I have learned that these granola bars are very versatile. You can change the flavor and texture of the granola bars very easily to suit your taste, but keeping the proportions the same. These granola bars could be made with any combination of dried fruits and nuts. What is most interesting about these granola bars is how you can change the overall texture of the granola bars by simply adjusting the baking time. If you want a traditional style granola bar, simply bake the bars the full 30 minutes. If you shorten the baking time the bars do not bind as tightly and they become softer, making them perfect for breaking apart and crumbling into yogurt. Somewhere in the middle of the last ten minutes of cooking is the chewy version of these bars. My favorite consistency is at 20 minutes. They are soft and chewy and barely hold together, almost like a very sticky traditional granola.
A yummy grab and go breakfast or snack, these wholesome homemade granola bars are easy to make, packed with rolled oats, and toasted coconut mixed combined with a sticky honey brown sugar sauce, with chopped fruit and nuts. Perfect for when there isn’t time to cook, you can simply grab and go!
Want a grab and go breakfast or snack too? Here’s the recipe:
Grab and Go Granola Bars
- 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
- 1 cup chopped pecans or your favorite nut or combination of nuts
- 1 cup shredded coconut loosely packed
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅔ cup honey
- ¼ cup light brown sugar lightly packed
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ cup pitted dates chopped
- ½ cup dried cranberries or any favorite dried fruits
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9 x 13-inch pan and grease the paper with butter. Set aside.
- Toss oatmeal, nuts, and coconut together on a large sheet pan. Place in the preheated oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Stir occasionally, until lightly browned, then remove and transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat, bring the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt to a boil, stirring occasionally.When the mixture comes to a boil, cook stirring constantly for one minute. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, and cranberries or other dried fruit and stir well.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan baking pan. Wet your fingers and carefully press the mixture into the pan. (Wetting your fingers keeps the mixture from sticking to your hands.)
- Bake 20 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool completely, about 2 hours before cutting.
I’d love to hear from you! Please give these a try and then let me know how you enjoy them the best.