I was given the task by my husband to create a breakfast bar. My first attempt a couple of weeks ago yielded a very chewy bar. So his new request was a crunchy breakfast bar. I thought about my last recipe and made some changes to the ingredients, but more important, the size of the pan. This batch was made in a rimmed baking sheet approximately 11 x 15 inches. He had the first one today and was very pleased with the result. His only request for the next batch, add more fruit. I think I can accommodate. Homemade granola and bars have to be one of the easiest things you can possibly make, and when you compare the price it costs to make versus the store, well there really is no comparison. This batch makes 16 bars. Here is my recipe, see the tip section for some other ideas.
Blueberry-Almond Breakfast Bars:
1/2 cup organic brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup organic almond butter
1 tsp organic pure vanilla extract
4 cups organic old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup organic wheat germ
1/2 tsp organic ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup dried blueberries
Directions: In a medium saucepan, add the brown sugar, honey, and almond butter. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the brown sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract and stir to combine. While the mixture is cooking, add to a large mixing bowl, the oats, wheat germ, cinnamon, almonds, and blueberries. Pour the brown sugar mixture over the oats mixture and stir well to combine. To be honest, the rubber spatula just wasn't cutting it for me and in the end I went in with my hands to make sure everything was mixed together well.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 11 x 15 rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet and press it into an even layer (As pictured here). Bake for 25 minutes. Let sit for 15-20 minutes before cutting. When ready to cut, just lift the mixture off the baking sheet using the foil. Cut into 16 bars and package. We use recyclable snack bags, they make the perfect package for the bars.
Tip: Let your imagination run wild with how you want your bars. I am already planning a macadamia, mango, & coconut. Cherries and almonds would be delicious. Cashews with cranberry would be good. You could even experiment with spices. How about a chai spiced breakfast bar with peanuts & apricots. The sky is the limit, as long as you stay with the base of oats, wheat germ, and the honey, brown sugar and nut butter choice. You could use peanut butter, cashew butter, even soy butter. Enjoy!!