For a better granola bar option, try making one at home. This granola is “better” thanks to the additional protein and a crunchy texture from the sunflower seeds and nuts as well as whole grains and fiber from the oats. Olive oil lends mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which are a more nutritious choice and better for your heart. Want to make it a savory granola? Switch out some or all of the dried fruit for oil-cured olives. Want granola bars? Add ¼ cup honey to the original recipe, and press it down into the pan. Store in an airtight container and/or the refrigerator to extend the shelf life.
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds (optional)
- ¼ cup nuts (optional)
- ½ cup honey
- ⅓–½ cup nut/sunflower seed butter
- 1–2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1⅓ cups chopped dates, figs, raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries or a combination
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and spread oats onto a lined or lightly greased cookie sheet. Add nuts to the oats if desired. Toast oats in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes in 5-minute intervals. Heat honey and nut/sunflower seed butter in a pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Combine oats, olive oil and chopped dried fruit in a large bowl. Drizzle honey mixture over it and stir to coat. Transfer to a lightly sprayed or buttered 8-by-8-inch or 9-by-13-inch dish and refrigerate until hardened and cooled. When firm, break into granola clumps or cut into bars.