While James and I were taking our childbirth classes, the couples were supposed to take turns signing up to bring a snack for the group each week. The first week, our instructor provided the snack. Yep, you guessed it. She provided these oatmeal bars. She encouraged us to not go overboard while we were getting the snack. She said, "I just made some homemade granola bars real quick." That's right. I looked at her like she had lost her mind. We tried them and they were really good! My husband loved them! And all the wives reading this knows that when your husband really likes something, you will do anything to reproduce that for him. It's no secret that a happy husband has a happy belly. ;-) To my surprise, they were really easy!!! One of the best parts of all, they are saving us so much money! We used to buy prepackaged granola bars that were expensive and not very filling. My husband takes one on his way to work every morning, so I make a lot of them.
Anyway, the recipe came from a book called The Laptop Lunch User's Guide. As I started looking around, I found that they sell reusable lunch box kits and promote healthy foods. Cool! I also found that they have a blog here.
The following is the word for word recipe and I'll put my tips at the end.
Oatmeal BarsPrep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
These oatmeal bars are a great alternative to many similar prepackaged products. Freeze some for future use. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3 cups "old fashioned" oats
2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup walnut oil
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons orange juice or water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine oatmeal, flour baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, combine honey,, oil, egg, orange juice (or water).
- Combine the dry and wet ingredients and mix again.
- Using a spatula, press mixture firmly onto a lightly oiled cookie sheet, forming one large rectangle about 1/3 inch thick.
- Smooth the edges with the edge of the spatula.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until light brown and firm.
- Remove from oven and cool.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the large rectangle into smaller 1 1/2 inch by 3 1/2 inch rectangles.
My tips for this recipe:
- Walnut oil - We don't use walnut oil in our bars. I substitute it for apple juice concentrate. I actually do this a lot when I bake. I keep it in a container in the freezer and just scoop it out with a measuring spoon when I need it.
- Orange juice - I keep another container in the freezer with orange juice concentrate. I measure out 1 1/2 tablespoons of orange juice and the 1 1/2 tablespoons of water for the recipe.
- Vanilla extract - We have made them with the vanilla extract before, but now make them with almond extract now. I love the flavor with the oatmeal
- 1/3 inch thick - We make ours much more thick. Ours are more like 3/4 inch thick. They don't seem to fall apart easily. Because we like to make ours more thick, I have to bake them longer. It takes closer to 20 minutes in my stoneware.
- Extras - We add a few more ingredients. I have a cranberry thing, I eat them year round. We also like chocolate...and pecans. So, we add 1/4 cup dried cranberries, 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips, and 1/4 cup of chopped pecans. You can add pretty much anything your imagination can think up. Add, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, any nuts, dried fruits, coconut. Anything you like!