Granola is good post-hurricane food. It’s shelf stable, calorie-dense and tastes great! Before Irma, while I was doing my storm prep, I bought several packages of granola bars, thinking they’d make good breakfasts or snacks during a time I knew we wouldn’t have power (or refrigeration). They were good. These Coconut Almond Granola Bars are better.
Our power is back on now, but after five days without, everything in our fridge was lost. And we weren’t the only ones. The grocery stores were very limited as well — they had to discard all their fresh, refrigerated and frozen items and hadn’t gotten new shipments yet. I turned to my pantry for inspiration and decided on this simple granola.
The ingredients in granola are generally wholesome and these bars with toasted almonds, old-fashioned oats, wheat germ and sunflower seeds are no exception. Almond extract and fresh orange zest intensify the flavors of these bars.
I used a little sweetened flaked coconut as well. Coconut is one of my all time faves!
After toasting the dry ingredients, combine them with the honey mixture and stir-stir-stir to combine. Transfer the granola to a baking pan lined with parchment paper and sprayed with vegetable spray. Press the granola down into an even layer and bake.
When the granola has baked and is still hot, add the chocolate chips.
Doing this when the granola is hot gives the chocolate a slight melty quality and allows the chips to adhere to the granola. If you add chocolate chips after it’s cooled, they’d just bounce right off.
and — here’s the hard part — let it cool completely to room temperature. No sneaking, pinching or nibbling. You have to wait for it to set completely.
Use a very sharp knife to slice the granola into bars and enjoy!
Coconut Almond Granola Bars
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oatmeal
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup honey I used a dark honey
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- sprinkle sea salt optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 9" baking pan with vegetable spray. Cut a piece of parchment paper 8" wide and 15" long. Place the parchment into the pan with extra paper hanging over the sides. Set aside.
- On a half sheet pan, toss together the oatmeal, almonds, wheat germ and sunflower seeds. Spread the mixture into a single layer and bake for 15 minutes, stirring two to three times during baking. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
- Meanwhile, add the honey, brown sugar, melted butter and almond extract to a small saucepan and heat, stirring constantly over medium heat until the brown sugar has dissolved. Stir in the orange zest.
- Transfer the oatmeal mixture to a large bowl and add the coconut. Pour in the honey mixture and stir until well combined.
- Press the granola evenly into the prepared pan. Tip: Spray your fingers with vegetable spray so they don't stick to the granola while you're pressing it into the pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes, spin the pan around 180° and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips and a light sprinkle of sea salt (if using). Let the granola cool to room temperature before cutting into bars.
More Granola Favorites:
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