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Skip expensive snacks. Learn to make delicious, healthy granola bars, energy bites & trail mix at home.

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How to Make Your Own Granola Bars, Energy Bites, and Trail Mix

09 January, 2024

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James Matthews

Do you love snacking on granola bars, energy bites, and trail mix, but don’t want to spend a fortune on store-bought ones? Do you want to know what ingredients go into your snacks, and customize them to your taste and health preferences? Do you enjoy making your own food from scratch, and have some fun in the kitchen? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this article is for you.

In this article, I will show you how to make your own granola bars, energy bites, and trail mix, using simple ingredients and easy methods. You will learn how to use your oven, a food processor, and some basic tools to create delicious and nutritious snacks that you can enjoy anytime, anywhere. You will also discover some tips and tricks to make your snacks more tasty, crunchy, and healthy. And you will find out how to do your own research (DYOR) and experiment with different flavors and combinations, to suit your personal preferences and needs.

Granola Bars

Granola bars are one of the most popular snacks in the world, and for good reasons. They are convenient, portable, filling, and satisfying. They can provide you with energy, fiber, protein, and other nutrients, depending on what ingredients you use. They can also be very tasty, with a variety of flavors and textures to choose from.

However, not all granola bars are created equal. Some of the ones you find in the stores are loaded with sugar, fat, preservatives, and artificial flavors and colors. They can also be quite expensive, especially if you buy them frequently. That’s why making your own granola bars at home is a great idea. You can control what goes into your bars, and save some money in the long run.

To make your own granola bars, you will need some basic ingredients: oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, honey, oil, and salt. You can also add some extras, such as chocolate chips, peanut butter, coconut, spices, or vanilla extract, to make your bars more interesting and flavorful. The basic steps are as follows:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the oats, nuts, seeds, and salt together. Spread the mixture evenly on the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until lightly toasted and fragrant.
  3. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the honey and oil, and stir until well combined and smooth. You can also add some peanut butter, chocolate chips, or other extras at this point, if you like.
  4. Transfer the toasted oat mixture to a large bowl, and add the dried fruits and any other extras you want. Pour the honey mixture over the oat mixture, and stir well to coat everything evenly.
  5. Line a 9x13 inch (23x33 cm) baking pan with parchment paper, and press the granola mixture firmly and evenly into the pan. You can use a spatula, a rolling pin, or your hands to do this. The more compact the mixture is, the better your bars will hold together.
  6. Bake the granola mixture for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden and slightly bubbly around the edges. Let it cool completely in the pan before cutting into bars. You can store the bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, or in the refrigerator or freezer for longer.

Some tips and tricks to make your granola bars more tasty, crunchy, and healthy are:

  • Use old-fashioned rolled oats, not quick or instant oats, for the best texture and flavor.
  • Toast the oats, nuts, and seeds before adding the honey mixture, to enhance their nuttiness and crunchiness.
  • Use a variety of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits, to add more colors, flavors, and nutrients to your bars. You can use almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, cranberries, cherries, raisins, apricots, dates, figs, or any other ones you like.
  • Use natural honey, not processed or flavored ones, for the best sweetness and health benefits. You can also use maple syrup, agave nectar, or brown rice syrup, if you prefer.
  • Use a neutral oil, such as canola, vegetable, or coconut oil, to bind the ingredients together and add some moisture and richness to your bars. You can also use butter, if you don’t mind the extra calories and fat.
  • Add some salt, to balance the sweetness and bring out the flavors of the other ingredients. You can also add some cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, or other spices, to add some warmth and depth to your bars.
  • Add some vanilla extract, to give your bars a nice aroma and taste. You can also add some almond extract, lemon zest, orange zest, or other flavorings, to make your bars more unique and delicious.
  • Add some chocolate chips, peanut butter, coconut, or other extras, to make your bars more indulgent and fun. You can also drizzle some melted chocolate, caramel, or jam over the bars, after they are baked and cooled, to make them more decadent and attractive.

Energy Bites

Energy bites are another great snack option, especially if you don’t have an oven or don’t want to bake anything. They are similar to granola bars, but in bite-sized form. They are easy to make, with no cooking required. They are also easy to eat, with no mess or crumbs. They can provide you with a quick boost of energy, protein, fiber, and healthy fats, depending on what ingredients you use. They can also be very yummy, with a variety of flavors and textures to choose from.

To make your own energy bites, you will need some basic ingredients: oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, nut butter, honey, and salt. You can also add some extras, such as chocolate chips, coconut, cocoa powder, protein powder, or vanilla extract, to make your bites more interesting and flavorful. The basic steps are as follows:

  1. In a food processor, pulse the oats, nuts, seeds, and salt together, until they form a coarse meal. You can also chop them by hand, if you don’t have a food processor, but it will take longer and the texture will be less uniform.
  2. Transfer the oat mixture to a large bowl, and add the dried fruits and any other extras you want. Stir well to combine everything evenly.
  3. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the nut butter and honey, and microwave for 15 to 30 seconds, until melted and smooth. You can also heat them in a small saucepan over low heat, if you don’t have a microwave. You can also add some chocolate chips, cocoa powder, or other extras at this point, if you like.
  4. Pour the nut butter mixture over the oat mixture, and stir well to coat everything evenly. The mixture should be sticky and hold together when pressed. If it is too dry, add some more honey or nut butter. If it is too wet, add some more oats or nuts.
  5. Using a tablespoon or a cookie scoop, scoop out the mixture and roll it into balls, using your hands. You can also flatten them into discs, if you prefer. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate for at least an hour, until firm. You can store the bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for longer.

Some tips and tricks to make your energy bites more tasty, crunchy, and healthy are:

  • Use old-fashioned rolled oats, not quick or instant oats, for the best texture and flavor.
  • Use a variety of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits, to add more colors, flavors, and nutrients to your bites. You can use the same ones as for the granola bars, or try some different ones, such as hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, hemp seeds, poppy seeds, quinoa, blueberries, mangoes, pineapple, or any other ones you like.
  • Use natural nut butter, not processed or flavored ones, for the best sweetness and health benefits. You can use peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, or any other ones you like. You can also make your own nut butter, by blending roasted nuts in a food processor, until smooth and creamy.
  • Use natural honey, not processed or flavored ones, for the best sweetness and health benefits.

Trail Mix

Trail mix is another classic snack that you can easily make at home, without any baking or cooking. It is also known as gorp, scroggin, or schmogle, depending on where you are from. It is a mixture of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, chocolate, and other goodies that you can munch on anytime, anywhere. It can provide you with energy, protein, fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants, and other nutrients, depending on what ingredients you use. It can also be very delicious, with a variety of flavors and textures to choose from.

To make your own trail mix, you will need some basic ingredients: nuts, seeds, dried fruits, chocolate, and salt. You can also add some extras, such as pretzels, popcorn, cereal, granola, coconut, spices, or candy, to make your mix more interesting and flavorful. The basic steps are as follows:

  1. In a large bowl, toss the nuts, seeds, and salt together. You can use raw or roasted nuts and seeds, depending on your preference. You can also use salted or unsalted ones, depending on how salty you like your mix.
  2. Add the dried fruits and chocolate, and toss well to combine everything evenly. You can use any kind of dried fruits and chocolate you like, such as cranberries, cherries, raisins, apricots, dates, figs, mangoes, pineapple, blueberries, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, or chocolate chips.
  3. Add any other extras you want, and toss well to combine everything evenly. You can use any kind of extras you like, such as pretzels, popcorn, cereal, granola, coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, chili powder, M&M’s, Skittles, or gummy bears.
  4. Transfer the trail mix to an airtight container or a ziplock bag, and store it in a cool and dry place for up to a month, or in the refrigerator or freezer for longer.

Some tips and tricks to make your trail mix more tasty, crunchy, and healthy are:

  • Use a variety of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits, to add more colors, flavors, and nutrients to your mix. You can use the same ones as for the granola bars and energy bites, or try some different ones, such as pistachios, cashews, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, goji berries, mulberries, banana chips, apple chips, or any other ones you like.
  • Use natural chocolate, not processed or flavored ones, for the best sweetness and health benefits. You can also use cacao nibs, which are raw chocolate bits that are rich in antioxidants and have a bitter-sweet taste.
  • Use a pinch of salt, to balance the sweetness and bring out the flavors of the other ingredients. You can also use sea salt, Himalayan salt, or kosher salt, for a more natural and mineral-rich flavor.
  • Add some spices, to add some warmth and depth to your mix. You can use cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, or any other ones you like. You can also use some chili powder, cayenne pepper, or curry powder, for a spicy kick.
  • Add some candy, to make your mix more fun and indulgent. You can use M&M’s, Skittles, gummy bears, jelly beans, or any other ones you like. But don’t overdo it, as they can add a lot of sugar and calories to your mix.

Conclusion

Making your own granola bars, energy bites, and trail mix at home is easy, fun, and rewarding. You can use simple ingredients and methods, and customize your snacks to your taste and health preferences. You can also save some money and avoid the additives and preservatives that are often found in store-bought snacks. Plus, you can enjoy the satisfaction of creating something delicious and nutritious with your own hands.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, chocolate, and other goodies, and start making your own snacks today. You will be amazed by how good they taste, and how good they make you feel.

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