I’ve had granola bars on my mind for a long time. So when I learned the challenge of the month for the Sourdough Surprises Baking Group was Sourdough Granola Bars, I was delighted to finally get the chance to make some.
I had never made granola bars before, much less ones made with sourdough so I wasn’t exactly sure how to go about it. I referred to the references for the sourdough version on the Sourdough Surprises Monthly Inspiration Pinterest board, but I also found a number of helpful recipes for the non-sourdough version. I’ve included links to the recipes that were the most helpful in my quest.
If I had known how easy it was to make these bars, I would have made them hundreds of times already. There are endless possibilities for the types of fruits and nuts you can include. My problem was deciding which combination I wanted to try first. I ended up using a little bit of this and a little bit of that from what I had on hand to come up with my own yummy bars.
I had just picked up some fresh blueberries from one of my favorite farmer’s markets so they became the star of these bars along with the sourdough.
I dried the blueberries in the oven which was a fun project except I got distracted and almost burnt them. Fortunately for me, I caught them before they were burnt and crispy instead of chewy.
I also added some dates and almonds and a mashed ripe banana. I used less sweetener in these bars because I thought the dates and banana would provide enough sweetener (along with the honey).
Some recipes also include brown sugar, but I omitted it. Feel free to add additional sweetener if you prefer, but my taste tester and I didn’t think these bars needed any additional sweetness.
Chewy Sourdough Blueberry Granola Bars with Almond & Dates
Adapted & inspired by these delicious-looking recipes
Also inspired by these 23 delicious granola bar recipes
Yield: About 21 bars, depending on how you cut them
- 1 cup (discarded) sourdough starter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 2 cups spelt flakes (or rolled oats)
- 1 cup oat flour (or grind rolled oats in the food processor)
- 1 cup raw, sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- 1 cup blueberries, dried *
- 1/2 cup dried dates
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
* You can buy dried blueberries or dry them yourself in the oven at 325 degrees F. Just be sure not to burn them.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper, extending it up the sides. Spray the parchment paper and any exposed pan sides with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, sourdough starter, and honey.
- Mash the banana and add to the wet mixture.
- Toss the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
- Spread the thick batter out evenly in the prepared pan and pat it down gently.
- Bake the bars for 25 to 30 minutes, until they are light golden brown around the edges.
- Cool in pan on a wire rack for about ½ hour before cutting into bars or squares.
- Wrap bars individually to store; or place in a single layer on a plate, and cover with plastic; or store in layers with parchment in between. In humid weather, it's best to store bars in the refrigerator. They also freeze well.
I love to hike so these bars will make a tasty companion along the way. They don’t weigh very much which is very useful for a snack to take along on a journey.