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Food Factor: Soft Granola Bars

by Ms. Natasha Haynes, MSU Extension Service

Keeping a healthy snack on hand is a good way to avoid impulse eating. These Soft Granola Bars, filled with whole grains, dried fruit, and honey instead of sugar, are a tasty treat when I want something sweet, and they keep me away from the vending machine or drive-through.

If you’ve never baked with chopped dates, you’re in for a treat! This naturally sweet fruit has a flavor similar to brown sugar and keeps your baked goods moist. The next time I make this recipe, I plan to try a half-cup of raisins and a half-cup of dates to get the best of both!

We used locally grown pecans in our Soft Granola Bars, but walnuts or slivered almonds would also work well.

Soft Granola Bars


- 2 eggs

- 1 cup brown sugar

- 1 cup vegetable oil

- 2 cups regular oatmeal

- 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour

- 1 teaspoon baking soda

- 1 cup raisins or chopped dates

- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

- 1/4 teaspoon salt

- 1 cup nuts

- 1/4 cup honey

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a jelly roll pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Crack eggs into a large bowl. Wash your hands with soap and water after cracking raw eggs. Add brown sugar and vegetable oil, stirring until smooth.

Stir in the remaining ingredients, except honey.

Spread into the prepared pan.

Bake 17–22 minutes or until set. Cool.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook honey until heated through, stirring constantly. Drizzle honey on top of granola bars.

Thanks to our friends at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Nutrition Education Program for this printable recipe.

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