In my life, I’ve eaten a lot of granola bars. They’re quick, easy, and perfect for snacking on the go. The Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix Bars were my absolute favorite. And my inspiration.
For the past few months, I’ve been on a granola bar making kick, and I’ve combined a few recipes to come up with my formula for moist, chewy, customizable granola bars. It’s a great way to use up leftover pantry ingredients.
BEST HOMEMADE CHEWY GRANOLA BARS
3 cups quick oats (the base)
1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk (the glue)
1 cup shredded coconut (the crunch)
1/2 cup wheat germ (the health boost)
3 cups of anything like nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate chips
… and a little bit of butter for greasing the pan
For these bars, we used what we had:
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup mini chocolate chips (the happiness boost)
Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang so that the granola bars are easy to lift out of the pan. Grease the paper and sides of the pan with butter. In a large bowl, mix together ingredients with your bare hands until they’re all blended. (That’s why this is fun for a toddler to make! It’s messy and sticky! And Sonya gets to use her one-cup measure to scoop most of the ingredients, too).
Bake for 20-25 minutes until they’re just browned on the edges. Cool, lift out of the pan, and cut into bars.
They’re fantastic. Not quite Nature Valley. But they’re the tastiness of home. Sonya and I love them. Drex and Leena have never commented on them, but they’ve eaten their fair share of my granola and granola bar experiments.