Homemade Nutrigrain Bars

Normally I’m pretty good at managing my time. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say I’m great at it. I’m a  busy girl, and I do a pretty good job of getting everything done on time, and in an organized fashion.

I’m also slightly obsessive. Obsessive compulsive when it comes to things like checking three times in a row to make sure my alarm is set, or that I did in fact put my keys in my bag. Other times I get obsessive about ideas. Like the time I decided, despite the fact that I had just started 3 weeks of vacation, that my office need to be cleaned and organized at one o’clock in the morning. Or the time I decided I needed to scrapbook an entire year of  photos in 2 days. Or the time I found a wallet that I was in love with but was too cheap to pay for and I decided I needed to find one at half the price they were selling it in the stores. You get the idea…

So yesterday, when I decided that I HAD to make homemade nutrigrain bars, nothing was going to stop me. Did I have other things I should have been doing instead? Yes. Do I have a huge biochem test next week that I should be studying for? Absolutely. Am I supposed to be writing a dietary menu for a renal patient and doing a 9 page case study for my practicum? Yep. Did any of that stop me? Absolutely not.

It all started on the bus ride back to my car after class. I don’t usually eat Nutrigrain bars because they higher in sugar and they have a super long list of what I view as unnecessary ingredients. But occasionally I buy them for the hubby because he likes to have things to snack on. Yesterday I was a little out of sorts and running behind and I grabbed one of the bars on my way to class. As I sat there on the bus eating it, I started thinking about fig newtons. And how they were sort of similar. And how I loved them as a kid. And how I want to try this recipe for them. Sidetracked. Anyways, as I got back to the nutrigrain bars, I then started thinking about these blackberry oatmeal squares and how THEY were kind of similar. And how I loved them. See what I mean about being out of sorts? What it boils down to is that I decided that I was quite capable of making my own version of homemade nutrigrain bars and that’s what I spent my evening doing. (After I took a 3 hour nap because I am feeling pre-sick and am trying to fend it off…but let’s not talk about that).

After doing some googling and not finding any recipes that I deemed super healthy, I made up my own but these two gave me a starting point: Jenna’s Fig Newtons and Carrie’s Almost Nutrigrain Bars.

Here’s what I came up with:

Combine some greek yogurt and brown sugar. Add an egg and some vanilla. Stir in some flour and oats, baking powder,  baking soda and cinnamon.

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Freeze the dough for a little bit and then press it out into nutrigrain sized rectangles (Yes I’m aware that that’s not very precise…deal with it!) Use a knife to cut off the scraggly edges.

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For my fruit filling, I used the leftover blackberry jam I made back in December when I was making these blackberry oatmeal bars and had stored in the freezer until now.

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You could also make your own by mixing some frozen berries with a little bit of sugar and letting it boil away icon smile Homemade Nutrigrain Bars Or just use store bought.

Spread some fruit on the rectangles, fold the dough over the top and pinch the seams to seal.

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Bake and enjoy! I literally closed my eyes when I opened the oven because I was afraid the blackberries would have leaked out everywhere, but they didn’t! This was as bad as it got!

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I did learn, however, that if you’re going to put a little dough patch over a place where the dough split when folding, you should spend a little time making it blend in instead of just slapping it on there, or it will look like a tumor after baking:

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The result? They’re not bad guys! Considering I didn’t use any butter or oil and very little sugar! They puffed up a bit more than i thought they would, but that’s ok. I thought I was putting too much filling in, or that the filling would be too watery but it stayed put! The shell is chewy. It’s been my experience that using greek yogurt in baking makes things chewy. And the shell doesn’t have as much flavor as if I had used some butter or a little more sugar, but i’m used to doing that with my baking so it tastes pretty good to me!

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Homemade Nutrigrain Bars

1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
1 c oats
1/2 c plain Chobani greek yogurt
1 egg
1/4 c brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
1) Mix the yogurt and brown sugar on medium for 1 minute.
2) Add the egg and vanilla.
3) Stir in the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
4) Shape dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and put in the freezer for 30 min.
5) Divide the dough in half, put half back in the dough back in the freezer.
6) Roll or press the dough into a rough rectangle. Trim off the sides and cut into squares that are approximately 3 or 4 inches by 4 inches.
7) Spoon some fruit onto the square, fold dough in half and press seams to close.
8 ) Repeat with the rest of the dough.
9) Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

*Makes 8-9 bars

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So tell me, how would you tweak this recipe but still keep it healthy?!

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Enjoy!
–Lindsay–

About Lindsay

Lindsay Livingston is a Registered Dietitian from Columbus, Ohio. On her blog, she shares simple, healthy recipes, nutrition tips, workouts and snapshots of her life. Follow her on Twitter @LeanGrnBeanBlog and Instagram @TheLeanGreenBean and be sure to subscribe via RSS or email so you never miss a post!


Comments

  1. oooo, first recipe i’m making after this vegan week is over! i have some strawberry rhubarb preserves that i made this summer and i’m absolutely using that for the filling! oh, and your dough tumor made me laugh.
    sarah (sarah learns) recently posted..mia

    • yay! hope you like them! my advice would be to make sure the dough is rolled thin enough. my rolling pin sucks so i was trying to do it by hand and that made the dough part pretty puffy. since it’s chewy also, the hubby didn’t love the puffy/chewy combo. you might also think about using less baking powder/baking soda and if you have a sweet tooth, you might want to add another 1/4 c sugar or some butter :)

  2. I think these sound great, and I love how clean the recipe is! I’m also used to less-sweet baking so these sound like something I could get into. :)
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat recently posted..“I’ll make you banana pancakes- pretend like it’s the weekend now”

  3. I’m so impressed, these look great and perfect for a preworkout snack :)

  4. These look awesome! I’m always looking for snack bars for the boyfriend. These would be so much healthier than the special k bars I’m feeding him!
    Alicia at AliGirl Cooks recently posted..Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

  5. How fun! I kind of want to try these now…even though I can’t tell you the last time I ate a Nutrigrain Bar…
    Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen recently posted..Exquisite Eastside

  6. Do they keep out of the fridge? If so, for how long approx. do you think?

  7. And thank you for the recipe, btw. They look perfect for my husband and toddler!

  8. I made these for the first time tonight in hopes of a new snack for my son. Since he can’t have egg, I used an official egg substitute. My dough was a nightmare and I couldn’t have made them look likes bars if I spent hours. Was it the substitute not having enough liquid or something else? I’m bummed but will try again.

    • I haven’t tried making these yet, but have you tried using flax as an egg substitute? I went vegetarian a few weeks ago and even though we still use eggs/dairy I try to keep as much vegan as possible. So I made some baked donuts and used a tbls ground flax with a tbls of water and it sort of gets that gooey eggy texture. The end product was great. Obviously since I’ve not made these (yet) I can’t comment, but it’s definitely something to think about. Especially since flax is super healthy!

  9. Heather Heward says:

    I made these yesterday and they turned out really good. I had some blackberry jam that I had over cooked and was too thick for spread on toast but it was perfect for this. It was also the only recipe that I could find without gobs of sugar. My 15 month old really enjoyed them and they were pretty easy to make. The dough had a similar consitancey to pie crust so anything you would add to keep it that consistencey I think would be fine. Infact even pie crust will jelly cooked in it would be pretty good huh, little mini pies yum.

  10. My daughter would probably loves these minus the oats. Could I leave that out and have the recipe still work? I love the idea of making healthy food instead of buying unhealthy processed foods.

  11. my son is gfcf and low sugar, any ideas how to modify these gfcf?

    • they might work with a mixture of chickpea flour and oat flour. i’m going to try to play around with these this weekend so i’ll let you know if I come up with anything!

  12. I’d love to give this a try but we are dairy free. Any ideas to substitute for the yogurt? I was thinking apple sauce but I don’t know how it would turn out.

  13. I made these this morning. Should have put flour on the counter and rolled it out as opposed to between wax paper…the dough stuck like crazy. My son wanted Orange so we used Blood Orange Chobani Yogurt and Sugar Free Sweet Orange Marmalade.

  14. I made these today and my toddler LOVES them! I increased the cinnamon, added nutmeg to the dough and made the bars smaller – perfect for my little one! Sealing the edges with water on the second batch seemed to help with leaking and cracking around the seam. Next time I’ll try with Agave. Thank you!

  15. Melanie says:

    These look really great!! I think I might try these out this weekend. I hope that my jam isn’t too runny… we like it on the “runnier” side

  16. I’ve got to try these. My granddaughter loves Nutrigrain bars, but the very first ingredient is HFC. I found your site on a Google search for an alternate to the brand name. Now, I’m going to follow your site; It’s great.

  17. I’m SO making these today. Do you think they would freeze well?

  18. Casey DelliCarpini says:

    I can’t wait to try this – and I even have all the ingredients!! I’ve been making my own yogurt so I’ll throw that into the mix. Thank you!!

  19. I used banana in place of the yogurt (which I do often) then I omit any sugar in the recipe because banana (especially when suuuupa ripe) is soo sweet :D
    I also used just fresh blueberries pureed ;3 but I’m so used to a not super sweet flavor after suffering from an eating disorder that my taste buds have adapted to having no access sugar, or just natural sugar from fruits and whatever nature has decided to stick into my food :)

  20. Thank you so much for the recipe! I am going to have to make these ASAP. My 1 & 3 year olds love cookie type snacks, so I have been trying to find healthy versions to try. So happy to have found your site!

  21. Which kind of oats do you use? I have been searching for a recipe like yours. Soooo can’t wait to try. Thanks so much for sharing your work!

  22. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I had a similiar obsession to you, but found myself searching the web instead of experimenting. I of course had to try this right away. It was so simple and easy. I ended up getting abour 10-12 full bars out of it that I ended up cutting into squares. My kids will love them!

    For those interested – I used soy yogurt and soy milk, just enough to get a pliable dough. (still thick tho). I also substituted maple & honey for the brown sugar.

    • How much honey and maple syrup did you end up using for the brown sugar sub? Desperately searching for an easy recipe like this that will work but am really interested in not using any refined sugars and just sticking with local honey and natural maple syrup.

  23. I discovered that my son likes nutrigrain bars by accident. So I wanted to give him a healthy version. I never give him fruit w/o veggies so, I tweaked this by making a fruit and veggie jam to fill the bars. Thanks for the recipe!

  24. I have plain yogurt in the fridge – Do you think that would work – or should I get the greek kind? Very excited about this recipe

  25. Yum! I made these from your recipe. I just put the dough together like pasta dough (make a well in the dry ingredients and pure in the wet ones, mixing gradually together) then rolled the dough, with a little flour through my pasta roller to get the dough as thin as I wanted. They look just like the real thing and taste great! :)

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