I am not a morning person. I have pared my getting ready for work routine down to 30-40 minutes, max. So often, breakfast doesn’t happen, or by the time it does I’m starving and I end up eating something involving bacon and cheese.
So in addition to stowing packages of instant oatmeal and breakfast bars, I sometimes like to make this super easy granola bar recipe. Tonight, I made it while making dinner – it’s that easy.
The core ingredients are always the same. Oatmeal, maple syrup, honey, vanilla, brown sugar, some kind of nuts, and cinnamon. I’ve been known to add other cereal, dried fruit of various kinds, even chocolate chips. Tonights featured slivered almonds, Honey Nut Cheerios and golden raisins.
Easy Granola Bars
3 cups of oatmeal
1 cup nuts
1/2 cup wheat germ (optional)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed (I’d reduce this to 1/4 cup if you’re using chocolate chips)
1 oz olive, canola, or soybean oil (I like soybean oil)
3 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp of kosher salt
6 1/2 ounces of goodies (raisins, dried fruit, other cereal, chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together nuts and oats, spread out on a cookie sheet and put in the oven for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. While that stuff is toasting, mix together the vanilla, cinnamon, salt, oil, syrup, honey and brown sugar in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Or do what I do, stick everything in a microwavable bowl except the sugar, put the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, and then stir in the sugar. It should dissolve without having to dirty another pan. I like not dirtying another pan.
When the timer on the oven beeps, take the oats and nuts out, and pour them in the bowl with the liquid ingredients. Stir together. Add the goodies, stir again. Spray a casserole dish with Pam or butter it up, and press the mixture into the pan. Turn the oven down to 300 degrees. Put the whole shebang in the oven for 25 minutes. When the oven beeps again, take it out and let it cool. Cut it into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week. Or do what I do, and bag them up individually so you can just snag one on your way out the door in the morning.