Cranberry-Pistachio Granola Bars

September 6, 2010 · 45 comments

Lame things to do on Labor Day:

Wake up early. To run on the sidewalks. Because the gym is closed and after 7am the temperature rises 10 degrees every 5 minutes. I see it happening on my indoor-outdoor-thermometer-clock gadget. And honestly now, why would it lie to me?

Spend a solid hour shelling pistachios while watching Good Morning America. Ridiculously time consuming, annoying and lame. Note to self: Buy shelled pistachios, already. Seriously.

Clean. Not even a little bit of a nice thing to do on your extra day of weekend.

Way less lame things to do on Labor Day:

Eat homemade granola bars. Acceptable in an earthy-hippie-foodie kind of way.

Buy plum paint. And a nice taupe color actually called “Frappe.” Convince your husband that painting the ceiling and walls of your bedroom next weekend is the. best. idea. ever.

For the sake of productivity let’s end the list there.

Yes, I’m feeling productive. Yes, I want to clean so the painting can hurry up and happen.

Plus, I’m willing to bet your extra days of weekend were spent doing glamorous things. Tell me about them please. I’ll trade you a granola bar for a story.


Cranberry-Pistachio Granola Bars
recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse

3 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup flax seed
1 1/2 cups pistachios, shelled
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar
3/4 cup honey
1 1/2 tbsp. butter

Toast oats and flax seed on a baking sheet in a preheated 350 degree oven, stirring halfway. (If your pistachios aren’t already roasted, add them to the toasting mix. Mine were roasted and salted when I purchased them.) Meanwhile, combine shelled pistachios, dried cranberries, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar in a large bowl.

Heat honey and butter in a small saucepan until butter has melted and honey has thinned.

When oats and flax seed have finished toasting, knock the oven temperature down to 300 degrees. Add oats/flaxseed and honey/butter to the mixing bowl. Stir well.

Press into a greased 7×11″ baking dish and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly and cut into squares. (Waiting will make it difficult to cut.) Wait until granola has cooled and set into bars before serving. (At minimum, an hour.)

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristie September 6, 2010 at 10:14 pm

I don’t have an interesting Labor Day story (my day was spent being lazy) but I can make one up for one of those granola bars, they look yummy!


Priscilla - She's Cookin' September 6, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Ok, I did go to my exercise class, but otherwise I spent the day cooking and writing…. Yes, next time buy shelled pistachios, but your granola bars look delicious AND nutritious. Perfect timing for school lunches and breakfast on the run!


Belinda @zomppa September 6, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Ambitious Labor Day! Those bars look awesome. Hope the room is going to turn out how you want it to!


Anna C September 6, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Your granola bars looks delicious. I love the cranberry and pistachio combination. By the way good luck with the painting.



whatsfordinneracrossstatelines September 6, 2010 at 10:41 pm

My weekend was way more glamorous, I canned tomatoes! He He Those granola bars look so good I love pistachios.


Jean@RoastedRootsandPumpkinSpice September 6, 2010 at 10:47 pm

I have always wanted to make my own granola bar but never got around to doing it. Yours looks so good! :)


Chef Bee September 6, 2010 at 11:10 pm

I like this recipe. I worked all weekend so you beat me. Thanks for sharing the great granola bar pics and recipe.

Plan B


Joyce September 6, 2010 at 11:58 pm

Looks pretty tasty and totally not lame at all. I spent my weekend making cookies and watching many dance-themed movies on the W channel. It was not productive and very epic.


Monet September 7, 2010 at 12:36 am

So I’ve also discovered that shelled pistachios are totally worth it. But even if I couldn’t find any, I would still make these bars because they look and sound amazing! Thanks for sharing…and I certainly hope it starts to cool down soon!


Alexis AKA MOM September 7, 2010 at 1:23 am

wow I’m loving this! I’m so glad you popped by I love to find another great blog with food :)


Emily September 7, 2010 at 2:44 am

I don’t think you had a lame Labor day if you ended up with a tray of freshly bake granola bars…. I’ll trade your weekend with mine, as I’ve just done absolutely nothing…mostly sat in front of the computers catching up on tv shows.


Carolyn September 7, 2010 at 8:13 am

Deal! Ymmy granola bars!

My Labour Day…waking up at a beach house in Narragansett, RI, on a beautiful crisp cool morning, going for a run, hanging round the house with good friends making bacon and eggs, giving the baby a nap, packing up to head home, driving home, prepping the most awesome Andouille burgers for the grill (recipe on my blog if you are interested!), hitting Home Depot for paint for OUR bedroom (weird that you did that too), coming home, making martinis and grilling burgers. Going to bed very full!


Raina September 7, 2010 at 9:02 am

Great recipe! I have been wanting to try homemade granola bars but had no recipe. These will be great for my kid’s lunchboxes..much better than store-bought!

My Labor Day was not too glamorous, food shopping and


JillyAn September 7, 2010 at 9:16 am

These look so good…I love pistachios. You most definately want to buy the pre-shelled though. Hope you had a nice holiday weekend! you can send me some of those granola bars anytime you feel like it!


ravienomnoms September 7, 2010 at 10:08 am

Delicious! What a great snack! Great colors from the cranberry and pistachios


A SPICY PERSPECTIVE September 7, 2010 at 10:09 am

Looks like the perfect snack! Sweet and salty! I need to convince my husband to paint!!!


My Kitchen in the Rockies September 7, 2010 at 10:28 am

I also made granola bars this weekend. Mine contained apricots, coconut flakes and figs.
I love yours with the pistachios. Have to try them next time. Thanks.


Susi September 7, 2010 at 10:31 am

Sarah my labor day was spent sick at home so yours is still better ;o)
Your granola bars look delicious and I’m so bookmarking them to make with my kids! Love the pistachios in them, thanks for sharing!


May Ling Wu September 7, 2010 at 10:33 am

These look great. I love anything with pistachio. Been meaning to try for a while now. I like to eat granola bars pre-workout but the ones in the market have so much extra fat. That should be my next weekend project. Thanks for the inspiration.


Christina September 7, 2010 at 10:57 am

love the bar combo. and they’re colorful which makes them even more fun :)


Koko September 7, 2010 at 11:05 am

These granola bars look great- I looove pistachios! But what a pain to shell.

My Labour Day…hmmm….got stung by a hornet, went to work, ate dinner at 4:30, laid in bed until night came and I could go to sleep. Productive? no Restful for my tired mind and body? yes! Do I sound like a grandma yet? lol!


foodies at home September 7, 2010 at 11:57 am

Sounds like you had a fun weekend! A plum bedroom sounds great to me…I painted our front door raspberry! I wish I had one of those bars to bring to work with me on this Tuesday morning! Looks great!


Carol Egbert September 7, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Lovely combo. Didn’t do much labor -had dinner with friends.


comfycook September 7, 2010 at 12:37 pm

The colors in this are fabulous. Caught my eye, right away. Looks delicious.


Joanne September 7, 2010 at 12:48 pm

To be fair, I spent my three day weekend studying neuroanatomy. So your cranberry-pistachio granola bar making extravaganza sounds like the afterparty to the Emmy’s. In comparison.

These look amazing! I love pistachios and they should definitely be included in WAY more granola bars.


jennaseverythingblog September 7, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Yum! Your granola bars look awesome. I’m glad I stumbled upon your blog–the mashed potatoes with apples and brie looks to die for.


Kelsey September 7, 2010 at 2:17 pm

the colors you used are so perfect for granola bars.. a little bit of christmas nostalgia with the green of the pistachios and red of the cranberries! i love baking with brown sugar and butter.. omg SWOON! these look INSANE!! <3


Pure Mama September 7, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Yum! These look glorious :)

My labor day weekend? Yeah, I made gnocci, did the laundry and watched Phinneas & Ferb… not so productive either. I didn’t run though… I was supposed to but I convinced myself that the pouring down rain outside really wanted me to stay inside and make/eat carbohydrates. We shall see how that bodes for me during the 15k in 4 days!!!


Aunt Marcia September 7, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Hi Sarah,
Good news for all those pumpkin lovers!! I work for a food brokerage company and canned pumpkin will be hitting the retail store shelves within the next two weeks! And, they anticipate no shortages for this season.

Happy baking!


Maren September 7, 2010 at 6:56 pm

These look so perfect for fall, another yummy Family Thanksgiving treat. I love your blog because I always love everything you make. Hope everything is going beautifully for you!


TREAT AND TRICK September 7, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Sounds healthy and delicious, would love to try this..


Magic of Spice September 7, 2010 at 8:49 pm

These look so good…I love pistachio and cranberry :)


Evan @swEEts September 7, 2010 at 9:22 pm

At least you have these beautiful granola bars to show for all your hard shucking work :) This is a great combo of flavors and I might have to steal it for some of my own granola bars!


Stacey September 7, 2010 at 9:38 pm

I love pistachios, I haven’t thought of that before.


The Mom Chef September 7, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Oh major freakin’ yum. I love the look of that, let alone thinking it would taste like heaven. What an amazing combination. Finding this is a major score!


JillyAn September 7, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Hey Sarah…I know I commented already but I wanted to also tell you to stop by my blog and collect your awards. :)


scrambledhenfruit September 7, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Those bars are totally worth the trouble of shelling pistachios- they look fabulous!


theUngourmet September 8, 2010 at 1:16 am

I didn’t do anything remotely glamorous. Finished up last minute school shopping. Cleaned. Sat on my behind and played on my laptop. Drank coffee…and a little wine. Can I still get one of your amazing granola bars???


Spicie Foodie September 9, 2010 at 11:11 am

I love granola and specially when it has cranberries in it. Your recipe is just perfect and looks delicious.


A Thought For Food September 11, 2010 at 2:15 am

These are my kind of granola bars! Just lovely!

Thanks for the comment on Chef Dennis’ site. Glad you enjoyed the recipes. Feel free to head on over to my blog for other recipes:



Simply Life September 18, 2010 at 9:25 am

oh my gosh, those look amazing!


K O R I September 22, 2010 at 8:20 am

Your granola bars look (and sound) delicious! I love the ingredient combo you chose. Did you find that they fell apart or did yours stay together? I made a batch (from a very similar recipe) a few days ago, and while they taste amazing, they are rather crumbly. Any suggestions?


runbakerepeat October 2, 2010 at 2:49 pm

these are awesome. i like the salty, sweet and crunchy. i used maple syrup and honey combo. no added sugar. felt they were sweet enough! i put the crumbly part on top of yogurt! it was delish! :) Kori, you could try adding more butter if you want it to stay together better


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