4 1/2 cups soaked and dried oats (Directions for soaking and drying HERE)
1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 or 3/4 cup butter*
2/3 or 1 cup honey*
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup add-ins (mini chocolate chips, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, coconut, etc)
In a small saucepan, melt butter, honey and vanilla over low heat. Once butter is melted and bubbly, cook and stir for 5 minutes. (DO this! Don't cheat and just get the butter melted, it does actually need to COOK- not that I figured this out from experience or anything....!)
In a separate bowl stir together the dry ingredients. Mix the liquid with the oats. Incorporate add-ins at this point (mini chocolate chips melt, so you may want to cool first!)
* The difference in the quanities are in whether you want to make baked or unbaked granola bars......
For Unbaked- (Use the 2/3 cup honey and 3/4 cup butter)
Line a container of any kind with waxed paper. Press bar mixture in, well, with waxed paper. Allow to harden up (the refrigerator speeds it up but isn't necessary) and then cut into bars.
For Baked- (Use the 1 cup honey and 1/2 cup butter AND ADD 1 tsp baking soda to your dry ingredients and mix in throughly)
Press mixture into a greased 9x13 pan; use wax paper on your fingers to apply pressure. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Allow to sit in pan until completely cool and then cute into bars.
Taste difference? Believe it or not, the 10 minutes in the oven does something considerable. The baked bars have a mouthfeel related to a cookie, but not quite and are less sweet. Unbaked bars are more like a sticky Quaker chewy bar but with 1 cup honey are much too sweet and more expensive anyway. You could make a half a batch of both and see what you prefer!
Makes about 20 bars.
My note..... I "think" I like the baked best. Not sure, both are good and are really pretty different. Your add-ins make a difference too. My unbaked ones tend to be really sticky, so they aren't great for the little kids when we are out and sometimes my baked ones turn out a little crumbly. BUT, I find if I refrigerate the baked ones they old together better when we are out!
I am going to play with a little more honey in mine next time- I am wondering if altitude makes a difference in them?