This Copycat Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey Bars Recipe Tastes Just Like The Real Thing
Many years ago, I interviewed a chef for a professional cycling team who made her own homemade granola. This was revolutionary to me, making your own granola! But it’s so easy, she said, there’s no reason not to make it yourself.
Since I’d grown frustrated by the high price of small bags of organic granola at Whole Foods, I tried it, morphing her ingredient ideas (specifically, dried tart cherries) with an easy recipe I found at Epicurious. The Epicurious recipe results in consistently amazing granola, and I breeze past those pricey bags at the grocery store now, knowing my own is much better and way less expensive.
Next on my list, now that I’ve achieved granola perfection: granola bars. And apparently, I’m not the only one thinking this way because even Betty Crocker has a recipe for copycat Nature Valley Oats ‘n’ Honey bars.
The Betty Crocker recipe proves what that chef told me about granola: This is too easy not to make it yourself. It calls for a mere seven ingredients and just a handful of steps. You’ll mix together quick oats, baking soda, salt and a half-cup of oats you’ve obliterated in a food processor. Then microwave coconut oil to melt it, and mix the oil with honey, sugar and vanilla. Stir it all together, coating the oats well, then press it into a pan lined with parchment paper, preferably with some of the parchment hanging out so you can pop it out easily after it bakes.
Betty has some helpful hints for timing when you cut the bars so they get those crisp edges, just like the store-bought bars.
Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest has a version of the Nature Valley copycat that has a bit more snap, crackle and pop. Her recipe calls for a half-cup of Rice Krispies cereal, which must give these granola bars an airier but still-crisp texture. This recipe also calls for brown sugar instead of regular, which gets a thumbs-up for flavor from me since that’s what I use in my granola and can confirm it is de-lish.
If this all sounds great but, in your heart of hearts, you are a peanut butter fiend, the copycat chefs have you covered there, too. The New Baguette has a recipe for crunchy salted peanut butter granola bars that I might have to try immediately. (If you see a sentence fragment, it’s because I had to stop writing to bake these. Sorry.)
Alex says she makes these so she has a solid afternoon snack on hand, something not too cloyingly sweet. Her recipe does appear to hit that perfect sweet-and-salty balance that we’re hardwired to find irresistible. And when you see how she’s cleaned up the ingredients (ground flaxseed or chia? Genius!), you’ll feel a heck of a lot better about these treats.
See you later! I’m off to make all of these.