I can’t believe it. A whole year of blogging! Originally, I was going to go all out for this post, some big beautiful cake or mega decadent fried goody… But the summer berries were calling to me, and I’ve been wanting to make these for weeks now. So my one year blogiversary may not be over-the-top-crazy, but it sure is good.
I used to love nutrigrain bars. They were the perfect after school snack in elementary, and a great in-between-class bite in high school. If you looked through the backpack of my junior high self, you’d probably find an apple cinnamon nutrigrain bar at the bottom, squished, as flat as a piece of notebook paper. The squished ones were the absolute best.
But I’ve changed a bit since then, and store-bought bars (of any kind) just aren’t for me. The number of ingredients that go into most of them is pretty crazy, and the amount of sugar is totally unnecessary. This homemade version is great, they stay soft forever, the ingredients are simple and healthy, and they are wonderful at any time of day. I learned a lot after making these for the first time, let me share some tips with you so that you don’t have to endure the same mistakes I did!:
- Let the filling cool completely before trying to assemble the bars. Even refrigerate it over night. Do whatever you have to do, just don’t put hot filling in them!
- This filling recipe make enough for double, or maybe even triple, the amount of dough. I put mine in a jar in the refrigerator so I can make more next week. But if you want to double the number of bars, make more dough, not more filling.
- The squares don’t have to be perfect. Don’t waste your time making perfect 4×4 squares, just make sure the filling is covered and don’t worry about it.
It’s almost back to school time, lets make some homemade nutrigrain bars that hopefully won’t end up squished at the bottom of a backpack.
Homemade Berry Nutrigrain Bars
Makes 7-8 bars
- 1 pint fresh berries, I used a combo of raspberries and strawberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp water
- 3/4 cup AP flour
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup oats
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 6 Tbsp coconut oil (you can sub butter or margarine here if you wish)
- 2 Tbsp yogurt
- 2 Tbsp honey, agave or maple syrup
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla
First start your filling. Put all your fruit in a blender and purée it up.
Then put the puree in a small pot and add the sugar, lemon juice, corn starch and water. Put the pot over medium heat and let it bubble down to a thick jam-like consistency. This took me about 15 minutes, but it all depends on how juicy your fruit is.
Then in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the coconut oil, yogurt and honey. Add one egg yolk at a time, then add the vanilla. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Flour a piece of waxed paper and plop the dough on top, then flour the dough a little bit and sandwich it with another piece of waxed paper. Roll the dough out to 1/4 of an inch and put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
Then cut 4×4″ squares with a pizza cutter, and put 1-2 Tbsp of filling down the middle of each square.
Bake the bars for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before moving them off the sheet.
Store in an air tight container at room temperature, or in the refrigerator if you enjoy your bars chilled.