Recipe: Easy Granola Bars

These incredibly easy homemade granola bars take less than ten minutes to prepare and bake for one hour. Inspired by a breakfast bar recipe from Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson, these bars are amazingly adaptable and budget friendly. If you want to control exactly what ingredients end up in your new favorite breakfast or snack bar, or if you’d simply like to stretch your food dollar… read ahead. Bars store well, are essentially foolproof, and are just plain TASTY!

Basic recipe follows with suggestions of add-in combinations*. Experiment to find the perfect combination of fruits, nuts, seeds, and spices to suit your taste.

Ingredients:

  • 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
  • 2-3 cups combination of nuts, fruits, seeds*
  • 1/4 cup meltable chips* (chocolate, white chocolate, cinnamon, butterscotch, peanut butter)

Note: chips are optional and can be omitted completely

Method:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a 9×13 inch baking dish (or half sheet pan for double batch) with foil and oil well.

Stir together all ingredients but condensed milk in a large bowl.

In a small pan, warm condensed milk over medium heat stirring constantly until hot but not boiling. This will only take a few minutes.

Stir condensed milk into oat mixture until coated evenly. If using meltable chips, they will melt as the warm milk is added.

Spread mixture onto oiled foil-lined pan and press down firmly with oiled hands. Bars will hold together better when cooled if pressed firmly in this step.

Bake for one hour or until set. Let cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Use foil to lift bars from pan and cut into desired size. Cool completely. Can be stored in any sealable container.

*Add-in combination suggestions:

  • Almonds, coconut, dark chocolate chips
  • Almonds, cranberries, cinnamon chips
  • Pumpkin seeds, butterscotch chips, 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Chopped pecans, chopped dried apples, 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds
  • Chopped walnuts, dried blueberries, 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Peanuts, coconut, flaxseeds
  • Almonds, crystallized ginger, chai spices

Enjoy… and have fun experimenting!

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