Rise 'n Shine

I don't know about you, but when the weekday rush is on and it's time to start my day, I rarely feel like pulling out pots and pans to cook a good breakfast. That, however, does not mean I don't start my day with a good breakfast ... I just plan ahead and save myself a lot of time. This month, we continue our series focusing on getting a good breakfast when you are on the run. And nothing fuels you better in a nicer, more portable package than a homemade granola bar.

I know, I know ... you're wondering why make your own when you can buy some at the grocery store. Well, you get two really good reasons:

  1. You get to choose what you put in -- so you can make granola bars that suit your tastes, and
  2. Making them yourself is going to give you a chance to enjoy better for you granola bars that aren't loaded with lots of sugar, preservatives or other ingredients that many commercial bars include.

The recipe I'm including here contains a nice variety of sunflower seeds, almonds and mixed dried berries. You can tweak all of these ingredients to suit your tastes. Just make sure you have small bits of fruit and nuts so that you can enjoy a chewy granola bar whenever the mood strikes. And, if you are feeding a crowd, you can easily double this recipe and put it into a 9x13-inch pan instead.

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at .

Berry & Nut Granola Bars

  • 2 c. oatmeal -- NOT instant!
  • 1/2 c. sunflower seeds
  • 1 c. sliced almonds
  • 1/2 c. toasted wheat germ
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 oz. dried berries -- I like blueberries, cherries and cranberries

Preheat the oven to 300 F. Combine the oatmeal, sunflower seeds, almonds and wheat germ in a large bowl. Set aside.

Combine the honey, brown sugar, butter and vanilla in a large microwavable bowl. Microwave for 1 minute or until the butter is melted. Whisk briskly to combine. Microwave for another minute or until the mixture is bubbly. Immediately add the oatmeal mixture, salt and dried berries and mix until well combined. Press into a greased 9-inch square baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting into squares.

  • Yields: 16 servings
  • Preparation Time: 35 minutes