My man loves muesli bars. He used to get 24-packs of those hideous store-bought, highly processed, toxic, and also expensive “muesli bars”, and no, they didn’t even taste good in my opinion! Having finally used up our stock of processed junk “muesli bars”, it was high time to swing the kitchen knife again and come up with my own healthy granola bar recipe!
Given that I still had rolled oats and sultanas in my pantry which I wanted to use up (I am not a huge fan of sultanas tbh, but I cannot stand throwing things out), the opportunity seemed perfect. I was on the prowl for a good granola bar recipe online and I got my inspiration mainly from The Minimalist Baker, but I tweaked it a bit to make it “husband friendly”, i.e. I added dark chocolate chips for a bit of naughtiness, cornflakes for some added “crunch”, chia for extra goodness, and I changed the ratios a bit. I used ABC butter instead of peanut butter for its more favourable health benefits and its subtler taste. Oh, and yes, I used sultanas instead of dates, as this is what I had and I didn’t want to go shopping again. It worked just as well. Pretty cool if you can just start a recipe and everything ready, ay? The result is an almost perfect muesli bar that my hubby would choose over store-bought concoctions anytime. They are not 5-ingredient ones, but they are still surprisingly easy to make. Are they messy? Yes, but that’s part of the fun!
For one 20×20 cm baking pan
140 g rolled oats
60 g cornflakes
20 g chia seeds
150 g almonds
200 g sultanas
100 g dark chocolate chips
130 g nut butter (I used almond, brazil and cashew nut butter)
50 g honey or maple syrup
pinch of salt
Line the baking pan with parchment paper to easily remove the granola later and preheat oven to 180 °C. Line a baking sheet also with parchment paper and spread the oats, chia seeds, and almonds. Toast in the oven for 12-15 minutes, occasionally stirring, or until slightly browned. This step is actually not necessary, but it improves the taste a lot, and the chocolate chips will melt and incorporate nicely later.
While the oat mixture is toasting away, knead the sultanas with a tiny little bit of hot water so as to get a sticky, dough-like consistency. The sultanas should come together as a ball. Then, heat the nut butter, honey, and salt on very small heat while constantly stirring – don’t let it catch! – until honey is incorporated.
Take oat mixture out of the oven, add cornflakes, chocolate chips, sultanas, and warm honey-nut-mix, and incorporate. Beware, you will get your hands sticky, veeeery sticky, but you have my official permission to lick your fingers! (Just leave a little bit for the actual granola bars!) Make sure that the granola mass actually IS really sticky or else it will become messy and crumbly later!
Pour the mix into the prepared baking pan and pat it down REALLY HARD! Yes, you can use violence here; in fact, I’d advise to do so! I used another sheet of parchment and another baking pan which I pressed onto the granola mass. You could also use a book and stand on it – I have heard of people doing that! Now it’s time for 30 minutes in the freezer – do not attempt to cut the bars before you have frozen them! After 30 minutes, remove from freezer and very cautiously start to cut into how many bars you like. Store in refrigerator. Note: Collect any crumbs, toast them and enjoy with almond milk as a nutritious start to the day!