Yesterday was the first day of school in our area. I don’t know about you, but the summer has truly flown by. It always manages to do that. My son and my daughter were both up and out the door early yesterday morning and they were excited to see old friends and meet new teachers. It doesn’t matter if we’re ready or not, first days of school are special so I wanted to have something special for my kids when they came home that day.
I baked a great big batch of Tropical Granola Bars for them. We love granola bars around here. They’re perfect to grab when rushing out the door and I personally love them in the mornings crumbled into my greek yogurt or along with a cup of coffee in the middle of the day.
I packed these granola bars with dried pineapple chunks, shredded coconut and chopped walnuts. Great combination, right? I love the sweet taste of dried pineapple so tossing a handful in was a no-brainer. It was the perfect bit of chewy sweetness. Take a look at all the delicious pieces of nuts and fruit inside each bar.
Tropical Granola Bars are so easy to make and this is all you need…
These bars are packed full of flavor. Along with the dried pineapple and chopped walnuts, I added a cup of wheat germ, a bit of molasses and some honey. Wheat germ is so good for you, I try to sneak it into foods as often as I can. I like the flavor too, it’s kind of nutty.
Granola bars keep nicely in a sealed container too. Here’s how to make them…
First, combine the old fashioned oats with canola oil, melted butter and a little salt in a large bowl. After you’ve mixed it all together, pour the mixture out on two rimmed baking sheets, making sure to spread it all out evenly. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes giving it a good stir midway through the cooking time.
After the oats have cooled, pour them into a large bowl and set it aside. In a medium sized saucepan, mix together the brown sugar, honey, molasses and surprise…orange juice! Heat it while stirring until it’s smooth and just about to bubble, then take the pot off the stove and stir in the vanilla.
Add rice krispies, chopped walnuts, chopped dried pineapple and shredded coconut to the bowl of toasted oats and mix it well.
Then, pour the honey/molasses mixture over the oats/rice krispies mixture and stir it all together.
Spread the mixture out onto one rimmed baking sheet. I think it’s best to line the sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with oil spray or grease it with butter before you spread the mixture out. Greasing the pan makes it easier to peel off the foil after you bake it.
Gently press down with your hand to lightly pack the granola down.
Reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake it in the oven for about 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven to cool.
After the pan has cooled down, you can easily peel the aluminum foil off the bottom. Place it on a cutting board, then slice and serve.
Other recipes you might like…
Tropical Granola Bars
- 6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup Rice Krispies
- 1 cup wheat germ
- 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dried pineapple, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Using a large bowl, toss the oats with the canola oil, melted butter and salt. Spread the mixture out on 2 baking sheets and toast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Use a spoon to stir the oats in the pan halfway through the cooking time. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
- In a medium saucepan set to medium low, combine the brown sugar, honey, orange juice and molasses. Stir until the mixture is combined and smooth. Remove from the heat just before it begins to simmer. Stir in the vanilla.
- In a large bowl, mix together the toasted oats, rice krispies cereal, wheat germ, walnuts, dried pineapple and coconut. Pour in the honey/molasses mixture and stir well. Set aside.
- Line 1 rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Grease the foil with either butter or oil spray. Press the mixture into the baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool. Peel the foil off the bottom and place on a cutting board. Cut pieces with a sharp knife, remove from the pan and serve.
Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman