Here, we have created a tasty granola bar recipe that uses a dehydrator to allow the granola to last longer and create that extra snap for a more enjoyable experience.
Granola bars have gained the reputation of being a “glorified candy bar” and there’s a reason for that.
Through the years of the changing diet plans and hacks, the selection of “healthy” food has changed from good to bad or bad to good. Granola bars became a very popular healthy snack in the last 15 years because it contains nuts, fruits and whole grains that are generally good for you.
Many new brands popped up and many existing brands came up with their own. The reality is that 80% of granola bars available in the market aren’t healthy at all because of the amount of added sugar. With that issue raised by many health buffs and nutritionists, many brands have come up with granola bars that include less sugar and more whole foods.
If you’re concerned about your healthy diet, it’s always better to make your own snacks because then, you know how much of any ingredient is added to your food and homemade is always delicious!
Here, we tackle how to make homemade tasty granola bars made using a dehydrator.
Which nuts and berries should I choose?
Most granola bar recipes are flexible with the kind of nuts and fruits that you want to add to the recipe.
Generally, any kind of nut available in the grocery would work in a granola bar. Typically, these nuts are used in granola bars:
- Cashew Nuts
The kinds of fruit to use in a granola bar also differ depending on your preference. However, you cannot use fresh fruit for granola. It’s either you dry your own fruits or simply used store-bought dried fruit. You may use these fruits in granola bars:
- Dried Cranberries
- Dried Strawberries
- Dried Blueberries
- Dried Apricots
- Dried Cherries
- Dried Pineapple
- Dried Mangoes
- Dried Coconut shavings
There are also many kinds of seeds that you can add to granola bars such as these:
- Chia Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
- Flax Seeds
- Hemp Seeds
Granola bars vs. Protein bars
There’s an invisible line of what differentiates a granola bar from a protein bar. Sometimes it’s just really branding or the recipe you make if you make it at home. Sometimes protein bars contain granola bar ingredients with a higher level of protein and vice versa.
A granola bar is simple a granola mix turned into a bar. It typically has oats, nuts, dried fruits, some form of sweetener, and perhaps some seeds in it. A protein bar is anything mixture you make which is protein-dense, turned into a bar. A protein bar may come in different forms like a more fudgy texture of food like a soft batch of cookies or a bar made out of soft fruit with added protein.
Oats are a source of energy. It’s the carbohydrate of the granola bar and most, if not all, granola bars have oats in them. It’s like the foundation of a granola bar.
Nuts are a great source of protein and fat for a well-balanced snack, which could be the granola bar. You can choose any kind of nut that you fancy from walnuts, pecans, cashew, to almonds. Remember to toast your nuts before adding them to the granola mixture for the enhanced flavor of the nuts.
- Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is added to granola bar because of its flavor and nutrients. It’s a good touch of sweetness to the bar and they are also packed with vitamins. It is important that the fruits are dried because you don’t want the moisture of the fruits causing the granola to spoil faster or get soggy. They also won’t hold.
A sweetener is added to the granola bar for flavor and it also acts as the glue for the ingredients to become a bar. Honey and brown sugar are good sweeteners and glue for making granola bars.
Seeds are packed with health benefits and they are considered superfoods. They are typically added to granola bars for extra vitamins and texture.
Tips and Tricks
- Sweetener is used as glue
Choose your choice of sweetener to act as glue for the granola bar. Honey is a good source of sweetness so it’s great for gluing the granola together. If you’re vegan, you may use sweeteners like Agave.
- Fat is not bad
Contrary to what most people think, fat isn’t bad. For more flavor and a slight touch of moisture, add butter, peanut butter or coconut oil to your granola mixture. It not only adds flavor but it adds a good shine to the bar too. Use sparingly.
- Chewy Bar
If you want your granola bar to be a little chewier, add flax seeds to it. The flax seeds soften and create that elastic texture which adds the chewy factor into the granola bar.
How to make granola bars in a dehydrator
Making granola bars in a dehydrator is as simple as baking them.
In a large bowl, pour in the oats and add the toasted nuts, fruits, and seeds. Set aside.
In another smaller bowl, mix the butter or peanut butter with the honey until it’s smooth and creamy. Drizzle this wet mixture onto the oat mixture and mix until the wet ingredients are evenly distributed.
Form the granola mixture onto the dehydrator tray into a square and dehydrate for 3-4 hours at 115F.
Allow to cool then chill in the chiller for 30-45 minutes before cutting.
Cut into rectangles.
How long do granola bars last?
Granola bars last a pretty long time. Of course, we always suggest consuming what you make immediately or at least within the next two weeks.
Granola bars have been packaged and made well that they can last from 1-8 weeks. Granola bars contain ingredients that have been processed like dried fruit, oats, toasted nuts and seeds meaning they can last a long time.