I’m home!! After a long day of traveling, I’m glad to finally to be back Portland. It feels a little weird since I’ve been gone for nearly a whole year, but I felt right at home after being bombarded with offers of food from my mom the minute she laid eyes on me at the airport. My mom was worried that I’d be hungry, so she’d brought along a thermos of warm hobak jook, for me to eat on the drive home. :)
Even though I arrived at 11 pm (2 am Eastern time), I was starving, so I was very grateful for the yummy hobak jook. The peanuts and pretzels that they give you on the plane just don’t cut it, and I’m not a fan of the fast food that is available at most airports. Thankfully, I had brought along a couple of homemade granola bars that I’d made the day before to tide me over until I got home for some REAL food :)
These are my favorite homemade granola bars in the whole wide world. While I love Bora Bora bars and Kashi snack bars, they are rather expensive, so I usually munch on the homemade kind instead. These granola bars are chewy (!) and delicious, as well as portable and very filling, so basically, they are the perfect on-the-go snack!
Unlike many storebought granola bars which can be loaded with refined sugar and fat, these homemade ones are all-natural and healthy! Even many of the homemade recipes I’ve tried produce granola bars that are more likely oatmeal cookies, so they’re more like dessert than a nutritious snack. Although these bars are healthy, they are so good and SO addictive that, once I make a batch, I can’t stop eating them!
Homemade Granola Bars
Source: adapted from Joyful Abode
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup pecans, finely chopped (or walnuts, hazelnuts, etc.)
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup almond butter (or other nut butter)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts, halved (or sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, pepitas, etc.)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or dried blueberries, cherries, apricots, etc.)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a 13×9 inch baking dish with parchment paper.
2. Place oats, chopped pecans, and wheat germ on a large baking sheet. Toast in oven for 10-12 minutes, stirring every few minutes to ensure even toasting.
3. Mix honey, almond butter, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly.
4. In a large bowl, combine toasted oat mixture with honey/almond butter mixture, and mix thoroughly. Stir in halved honey roasted peanuts and dried cranberries.
5. Press mixture FIRMLY and evenly into parchment-lined baking dish.
6. Allow to cool completely (about 2 hours) before cutting into bars.