Granola Bars Recipe with Scientific Explanations

Granola Bars Recipe with Scientific Explanations

Granola Bars Recipe with Scientific Explanations

Granola Bars Recipe with Scientific Explanations
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  • 200 g Old-fashioned oats
  • 50 g chopped nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts)
  • 50 g dried fruits (e.g., cranberries, raisins)
  • 50 g mini chocolate chips or cocoa nibs (optional)
  • 60 ml honey or maple syrup
  • 60 ml peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 Pinch Salt


  • Toasting the Oats and Nuts:
    Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Spread the oats and nuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden, stirring halfway through.
    Scientific Explanation: Toasting enhances the flavor of the oats and nuts by promoting the Maillard reaction, a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars. This gives the ingredients a complex, nutty flavor and also makes them slightly crunchy.
  • Mixing Wet Ingredients:
    In a small saucepan, combine the honey (or maple syrup) and peanut butter. Heat over low heat until they melt together, then remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
    Scientific Explanation: Heating the honey and peanut butter lowers their viscosity, making them easier to mix. The vanilla adds flavor compounds, enhancing the overall taste of the bars.
  • Combining Dry and Wet Mixtures:
    In a large bowl, combine the toasted oats and nuts, dried fruits, chocolate chips (or cocoa nibs), and salt. Pour the melted honey mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until everything is well coated.
    Scientific Explanation: The salt helps to balance the sweetness and enhances the overall flavor profile of the bars. Honey (or maple syrup) acts as a binder due to its sugar content, ensuring the ingredients stick together. Additionally, sugars are hygroscopic (they attract water), which helps in maintaining the bar's soft texture.
  • Shaping the Bars:
    Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper, letting the paper overhang the edges for easy removal later. Transfer the mixture to the pan and press firmly into an even layer.
    Scientific Explanation: Compressing the mixture ensures that the bars hold together after cooling. This is because as the wet ingredients cool, they solidify, binding the dry ingredients together.
  • Chilling:
    Place the pan in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to set.
    Scientific Explanation: Chilling allows the fats (from the peanut butter) and sugars (from the honey or maple syrup) to crystallize, firming up the mixture. This makes the bars easier to cut and handle.
  • Cutting and Serving:
    Using the parchment paper overhang, lift the set granola mixture out of the pan. Place it on a cutting board and, using a sharp knife, cut into bars or squares. Store in an airtight container.
    Scientific Explanation: Storing in an airtight container helps to prevent the bars from becoming stale. Staling is caused by the migration of moisture within the product and from the surrounding environment, leading to changes in the texture of the food.
    Enjoy your homemade granola bars! They're a perfect balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, giving you energy throughout the day. The combination of ingredients also offers a variety of textures, from the chewiness of dried fruits to the crunchiness of toasted nuts.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
John Nguyen
John Nguyen
Articles: 9

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