Homemade Granola + Bars

I'm a simple girl, so store bought granola—even the high-end bakery stuff, never quite measures up. Check the coconut and wacky flavors at the kitchen door, and leave the clusters there too. Oats, nuts, dried cranberries or raisins with just a touch of sweetness is what I want. The baby loves oatmeal, so I usually always have old fashioned oats in the pantry. Skip the prepackaged ones and go to the bulk foods section of your market. At my local health food store, organic ones only cost $1.39 a pound (they used to be 99 cents until food prices skyrocketed). Dried cranberries and almonds are usually sold in bulk too. Keep those staples along with brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla bean and cinnamon on hand and you'll be able to make homemade granola in the same time it takes to get dressed and go shopping for the packaged stuff.

You may want to consider making this in a double batch too, so you can keep the fun flowing with homemade granola bars. A lot of bar recipes call for honey and or corn syrup to bind the mixture while some even require eggs. Agave nectar and brown rice syrup were my winning combination. And when you're feeling sinful, sprinkle some crushed bar bits into vanilla ice cream (try using this one and just swap out the cookie dough with one cup of crumbled granola bar pieces). Another sweet treat: keep reading to the end of this post for a cool free giveaway.

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MY GRANOLA

Makes about seven cups plus a few husband-size handfuls.

Formerly named Jennie's Granola, the Mr. renamed this recipe, so please get your karaoke mic ready. Chopping nuts is quick and easy using a food processor—my Cuisinart mini-prep is perfect for small jobs like the 1 1/2 cups of almonds in this recipe.

2 Tablespoons butter

3 cups old fashioned oats

1 1/2 cups almonds, chopped

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 vanilla bean — split lengthwise, beans scraped and seeds reserved

1/3 cup brown sugar (light or dark is fine)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 1/2 cups dried, sweetened cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 300ºF. In a deep skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add oats and saute until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add almonds, salt, cinnamon and vanilla bean seeds. Stir well. Sprinkle brown sugar over mixture and pour in syrup. Stir well, making sure mixture is coated. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.

2. Bake for 30 minutes, until granola is golden and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Let cool completely. May be stored in an air-tight container for up to one week—but it never last that long in my house.

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JENNIE’S GRANOLA BARS

Makes twelve 1 ½” x 3 ½” one ounce bars

If using store bought granola, be sure to read the ingredient label. Just because it says granola doesn’t mean it’s healthy. The first few ingredients should be oats, nuts and dried fruits if they are included. Avoid any that have high fructose corn syrup or partially hydrogenated oils.

1/4 cup brown rice syrup

1 Tablespoon agave nectar

1 teaspoon canola oil

2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 ½ cups granola (one that includes nuts and dried fruits)

1. Preheat oven to 350º.  Combine the brown rice syrup, agave nectar, canola oil and sugar in a small, heavy bottom pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for two minutes, or until the sugar is completely dissolved.

2. Add granola to a large heat-proof bowl. Pour syrup mixture over granola, stirring well with a non-stick rubber spatula. Using same spatula, spread mixture into a greased 8”x8” glass baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes, or until slightly golden. Remove from oven and let cool at least 30 minutes. Cut into 12 bars and transfer to a metal rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

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RELATED LINKS

Make Your Own Yogurt (Eggs on Sunday)

Premium Vanilla Ice Cream 

GIVEAWAY ALERT

It's no secret that I develop recipes for Cuisinart. Today I get to pass a great benefit along to all of you. Cuisinart is giving away a 4-cup Mini-Prep Food Processor to one lucky reader at In Jennie's Kitchen. So what do you have to do? Just leave a comment answering this question: how many attachments are available for the Cuisinart Stand Mixer? (hint: you can find the answer here).

FINE PRINT: Please only one comment per person. Duplicates will be deleted for fairness. Prize can only be shipped to an address within the 48 contiguous United States. Contest ends at 11:59 pm on Thursday, and the winner will be chosen using random.org.

Random.org Cuisinart Giveaway Winner 

***Updated 6/19/09 – Congratulations to Ginavon on winning the Cuisinart 4-cup mini-prep! Thanks to everyone for participating.***

Comments

  • LTV Mom: Pick me! Pick me! I love to cook (while drinking wine and watching Cash Cab!) I think I found three attachments. More importantly, who doesn’t want a “fashionable fit” in their kitchen? ;-)
    – LTV Mom

  • Zahavah: My KitchenAid mixer is 10 years old and I’m considering a replacement, including other brands. Cuisinart could be up there…hmmm. I see five accessories listed.
    – Zahavah

  • Megan: Just bought a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker…need the food processor to help make the toppings for the ice cream! :) The mixer has 5 attachments.

  • Natasha – 5 Star Foodie: Homemade granola sounds excellent! Love the bars!

  • c2cmom: Yum! Can’t wait to try your granola recipe later this week! I see five attachments available for the stand mixer.
    Thanks! @c2cmom

  • Cookin’ Canuck: It looks as though there are 5 attachments.
    I was just thinking about searching the web for a granola recipe. Perfect timing!

  • Sweet Kitchen: These look awesome!

  • Ann: Cinco? Me gustaria ganar! Your granola bars look pretty, perfect. Are you sure you didn’t take them out of a package and take pictures? :)

  • Michelle Lavonier: My old mini-prep is very sad these days !
    I think there are 5 attachments for a standard mixer.

  • Ginavon: I can’t wait to make the granola bars. My kids are going to love them! The other item on my list is your butter recipe.
    And as for the ‘oh so great give-away’ – I see five attachments. (fingers, toes, knees, eyes are all crossed for good luck).

  • Selfish Mom: Five! Five! It’s five!

  • Jennifer Nash: I see five attachments!!
    Love the recipe.. Going to try it out tonight.

  • Diana: 5! I love granola bars and have bought some ingredients to make my own, just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Yours look great.

  • Fuji Mama: Mmmmm, love the look of these recipes. Can’t wait to try them!!! I love Cuisinart. Hmmmm, let’s see, 5 attachments! I’m dying to get my hands on that pasta maker attachment.

  • Milcah: 5 attachments.

  • Chade: There are 5.

  • Sherianna: There are 5 attachments.

  • alice: 5. I love my Cuisinart Hand Immersion blender with whisk attachment and mini food processor!

  • patsyk: Not only a great recipe today, but a fantastic giveaway, too! Woo hoo!!!
    I see 5 attachments, and really have my fingers crossed that I will win this one! :)

  • tammigirl: I hope you mean attachments. I see five of them.

  • susan: Oh, to wor for Cuisinart. Dream job.
    But your answer is 5. At least that I can see.
    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  • Explora: Five accessories and nineteen total attachments if you include everything on the parts and accessories page. Although only three things on that page are actually listed as attachments besides the pasta maker, meat grinder, citrus juicer, blender and food processor.

  • Thien-Kim: I’ve made my own granola and bars before. It’s so easy. I’m definitely trying out your recipe.
    Looks like the new mixer has 5 accessories.

  • foodcreate: Home Granola sound so Delicious perfect for Friday Pinic!
    Good Night !
    Thanks for sharing your Recipe:)
    Welcome~~~
    to http://foodcreate.com Yes looks likes 5

  • Jessica P: 5 Thanks for the giveaway

  • nora: perfect!!! yummyy :)

  • My Menu Plan | WhatWouldGwynethDo: […] of the week – our treat of the week is also from Homemade with Love: homemade granola bars. It will be my first attempt, so will be sure to let you know how they turn […]