Homemade Granola Bars Recipe w/ Fruit & Nuts

This homemade granola bars recipe is chock full of fruit and nuts and will keep you energized and satisfied well into the day!

Homemade Granola Bars Recipe w/Fruit & Nuts

Jamie here! This past week my husband not-so-casually hinted that he was tired of our eating the exact same trail-mix granola bars every day on his way to work – and would I be up to the challenge of making some homemade granola bars just for him.  I’ve been wanting to make my own granola bars forever, so I was happy to try!
In fact, he’s also been trying to lower his cholesterol, and oats, nuts and blueberries are all very good for that.  After researching several recipes and reader comments, this is the homemade granola bars recipe I ended up using.  These turned out SOOO good, and they’re super filling.  You can customize it to include your favorite dried fruits, and use coconut oil in place of butter.  It’s perfect as an on-the-go breakfast, but I enjoy slowly nibbling one while I sip my coffee as well.

I went to Aldi to pick up all my ingredients, and the ONLY thing I couldn’t find there was the wheat germ (which I located at Publix). I love wheat germ – my mom used to keep it in the fridge at all times, and we’d toss it on everything, even our ice cream! It just adds a great little extra crunch :)  While my I made my batch with half dried apricots, and half dried blueberries – you can use any fruit that floats your boat.  I bet dark chocolate chunks and dried cherries/rasberries would be heavenly!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 Cups Rolled Oats (NOT the instant kind)
  • 3/4 Cups Toasted Unsalted Sunflower Seeds
  • 1 Cup Sliced Almonds
  • 1/2 Cup Wheat Germ
  • 8 oz Honey
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil or Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Finely Packed Brown Sugar
  • 3 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 6-8 oz Dried, Chopped Fruit

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350.  Spread the oats on a baking sheet and toast for 15 minutes, stirring around once or twice while baking.

Grease a 9×13 Glass baking dish with butter or coconut oil and set aside.

While the oats are toasting, heat coconut oil, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and salt on medium until the brown sugar is entirely dissolved.  Make sure not to overcook this (aka – boil it until it’s foamy) or your bars may be stuck together like concrete.

While that heats, mix remaining ingredients (Sunflower seeds, almonds, wheat germ) in a separate bowl.

Pull the now-toasted oats out of the oven and add to the nut mixture, then slowly pour in the melted honey & sugar syrup.

Stir in the dried fruit and mix well.  Spread evenly into the glass baking dish, and press down with the back of a spatula until even and flat.  (I used my own buttered palms, which works great too – but remember that stuff is a little hot!)

Bake for 30 minutes.  Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

IMPORTANT: Make SURE you let it cool for a couple hours before cutting, or it will crumble apart when you try!

Homemade Granola Bars Recipe w/ Fruit & Nuts

Homemade Granola Bars Recipe w/ Fruit & Nuts

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats (NOT the instant kind)
  • 3/4 Cups Toasted Unsalted Sunflower Seeds
  • 1 Cup Sliced Almonds
  • 1/2 Cup Wheat Germ
  • 8 oz Honey
  • 1/3 Cup Finely Packed Brown Sugar
  • 3 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 6-8 oz Dried, Chopped Fruit

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spread the oats on a baking sheet and toast for 15 minutes, stirring around once or twice while baking.
  2. Grease a 9x13 Glass baking dish with butter or coconut oil and set aside.
  3. While the oats are toasting, heat coconut oil, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and salt on medium until the brown sugar is entirely dissolved. Make sure not to overcook this (aka - boil it until it's foamy) or your bars may be stuck together like concrete.
  4. While that heats, mix remaining ingredients (Sunflower seeds, almonds, wheat germ) in a separate bowl.
  5. Pull the now-toasted oats out of the oven and add to the nut mixture, then slowly pour in the melted honey & sugar syrup.
  6. Stir in the dried fruit and mix well. Spread evenly into the glass baking dish, and press down with the back of a spatula until even and flat. (I used my own buttered palms, which works great too - but remember that stuff is a little hot!)
  7. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.
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This recipe was adapted from this granola bars recipe from Alton Brown.

apple chips 2

You may also want to check out this yummy recipe for Homemade Apple Chips!

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Dip Recipe

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Dip Recipe

Jamie here!  Thanksgiving is tomorrow – and if you’re looking around for a couple new recipes to set your table apart, this one is a keeper!

Here’s a great cream cheese pumpkin dip recipe that tastes a lot like pumpkin pie – but BETTER – and in a dip form.  It’s a great appetizer to serve around the holidays, or any time when it’s grey and cold out.

 

Directions:

  1. Beat softened cream cheese (or whisk, if it’s reeeally soft) until smooth
  2. Add in the pumpkin, spices and sugar and mix together well
  3. Spread in a medium sized baking or pie dish
  4. Spread mini marshmallows over the top and finish with chopped pecans
  5. Pop it into a preheated oven for a little over 10 minutes minutes, or until marshmallows are golden.  You might want to movie it to the bottom rack halfway through so no nuts are burnt in the process ;)

This goes great with apple slices, cinnamon pita chips, or anything your heart desires.  Graham crackers or vanilla wafers make a nice option for the kiddos.

 

pumpkin-dip-recipe
Pro tip: trying to hand whisk a cold block of cream cheese will accomplish nothing but stuffing all the cream cheese into your whisk.   Believe me, I already tried it out for you, so you don’t have to ;)
pumpkin-dip-marshmallows

 

This recipe is easy and will warm you right up on a cold day – definitely one to keep in the holiday entertaining arsenal!  Also – if you don’t have a little stoneware baking dish – they are just perfect for this dip.  It looks so much nicer than serving it in a glass pyrex pan.  Here’s a very similar one you might want to consider!

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Dip Recipe

Ingredients

  • 15 oz Can of Pumpkin
  • 4 oz block of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 Cup Mini Marshmallows
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Pecans
  • 1/2 Cup packed Brown Sugar

Instructions

  1. Beat the cream cheese (or whisk, if it's soft enough) until smooth
  2. Add in the pumpkin, spices and sugar and mix together well
  3. Spread in a small baking or pie dish
  4. Spread mini marshmallows over the top and finish with chopped pecans
  5. Bake in a 350 oven for 12 - 15 minutes, or until marshmallows are golden
  6. Serve with apples, cinnamon pita chips, graham crackers, etc...
  7. This recipe is easy and will warm you right up on a cold day - definitely
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Homemade Apple Chips

hoemade apple chips

Last week  my hubby and I ran into TJMaxx to look for some new pants. With his 42 lb weight loss, nothing fit. At the checkout line they had bags of yummy apple chips that looked delicious, until we saw the $8.99 price tag. Seriously $8.99 for a bag of apple chips? No way, not when I knew I could figure out how to make them for much cheaper. Here is an easy recipe for homemade apple chips. With just a few simple steps, you’ll have freshly baked apple chips and your kitchen will smell amazing!

This recipe is AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge friendly.

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