Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cranberry and Walnut Granola Bars

healthy homemade granola bars
Cranberry and Walnut Granola Bars

I've been packing the husband's lunch for almost three years now. That's right, the man has been getting special treatment since he was just a boyfriend. And, yes, I got the memo that it's no longer 1955 and there's no reason that he can't make his own lunch. But I just sort of got into the habit and have to confess: I kinda like it.

It's true that sometimes when I can't decide what shoes to wear or whether I should put on earrings and a necklace (wearing both usually makes me feel too flashy) that I would rather pass the lunch-making duties off to the husband. But most days, I like taking care of him. Which is exactly why I have spent weeks searching for the perfect granola bar recipe. 
I wanted something healthy and flavorful that wasn't filled with a ton of calories or fat. And I also wanted a bar that I could make without having to hunt all over the grocery store for special ingredients. Luckily for me, I finally found the perfect recipe. Yes, I said it. This is the perfect granola bar recipe.

It's no secret that I've tried to make granola bars before but ended up with a big sheet pan of granola. And although the granola I've made in the past was tasty - and happily consumed - I was still a bit disappointed that I couldn't actually get the dang bars to stick together. Thank you, Daily Green, for making all of my granola bar wishes come true. The husband has a new snack in his lunchbox these days, and I don't have to worry about how many preservatives I packed him.

healthy homemade granola bars

Cranberry and Walnut Granola Bars
Ever So Slightly Adapted From The Daily Green

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats, toasted
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1 egg
1 egg white
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon molasses
1/2 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread oats and walnuts on a baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant.

Turn the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Line an 8-by-11-inch pan with foil. Lightly spray the pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk egg, egg white, brown sugar, sugar, molasses, oil, cinnamon, salt and vanilla extract. Stir in toasted oats, walnuts, dried cranberries and flour.

Spread in prepared pan. 

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. (Once the timer hits 25 minutes, you'll probably want to keep an eye on the bars. They'll brown quickly, if your oven is anything like mine.) 

Let the bars cool slightly; cut into bars with a lightly oiled knife. (Be more patient than me. If the bars insist on sticking to some of the time foil, let them cool a bit more. Eventually, you'll get them all free.)

Makes 16 Bars
Amount Per Serving: 135 calories, 3 g fat, 24 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3.5 g protein


  1. You're like me. I like taking care of Hubby too. I still bring him his cup of coffee in the morning. Of course, he makes it for us (I stink at making coffee for some reason). It just feels good to do things for each other. And, I like making my own treats like this to cut down on preservatives. Like you, I haven't found the perfect granola bar recipe so I'll be giving this a try. Thanks for testing it out for me. :)

  2. Awww I think it's sweet you pack his lunch!! These granola bars sound terrific : )

  3. mmmmm, those bars sound so good! I love granola, and make it quite often...this is definitely going to be added to my repertoire!

  4. Oh my gosh, I can't let my husband EVER read this post. Before we were married, I promised I would make his lunch every day...that lasted a few months and we're hitting our 10 year anniversary this year. He often reminds me of this fact.

    But the granola bars look delish!

  5. Ha, Carolyn! That's hilarious. I'm not sure how it happened, but I just started doing it and somehow can't give it up. I think if I stopped making the husband's lunch at this point he'd cry - or he'd pack himself Ramen noodles every day.


Thanks for taking the time out of your day to show my space a little love.


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