I realize that I have been making a TON of desserts lately. I promise I make other things besides desserts. I will admit though that I do enjoy making desserts the most! Actually I will say that I enjoy making anything I really enjoy eating. Lets just get this out in the open......the main reason I enjoy baking is because I enjoy eating yummy food! This is why I am not a chef. I have very little desire to make food that I don't personally get to enjoy. I love cooking for groups where I get to enjoy food with others, that is great, but just cooking for others seems like a task. I am very grateful that there are those out there that cook selflessly, very grateful. I am just not one of those people. In case you haven't noticed I seem to get on tangents in my posts, sorry about that. Now back to the real topic of discussion. I have been making way too many sweet treats lately and decided that this post needs to be about something more healthy. Of course healthy to me still has to taste good or else I won't eat it. These bars turned out to be just what I needed. They are hearty and filling yet sweet and tasty. My husband and I have been taking them with us to work and eating them for breakfast. For all the healthy stuff that is in them, I still enjoy eating them and occasionally choose them over a dessert.
Homemade Granola Bars
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons whole raw flax seed
3/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup all natural peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 - 1 banana mashed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, wheat bran, flour, chocolate chips and salt. In a separate bowl mix together honey, egg, peanut butter, vanilla, and mashed banana. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix well using your hands or in a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. I didn't spread it to the edges. I left about 1 inch of space on one side because I wanted the bars to be a little thicker.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut. Do not over bake, if you want chewy granola bars just bake until the edges barely start turning a golden color. Store in zip lock bags.
Recipe adapted from here