These chewy sourdough granola bars are the perfect treat or grab and go breakfast. They are sweet, chewy, sprinkled with mini chocolate chips, and made with sourdough discard for a touch of fermented goodness.
Why I Love This Recipe
I seriously can’t get over these sourdough granola bars! They are crispy, chewy, sweet, and slightly tangy. Such a delicious, fun and unique way to use up leftover sourdough discard!
I love how quick and easy these bars are to make. Whipping them up is a breeze, plus there is no baking involved. It takes about 15 minutes to make up a whole batch of these sourdough granola bars. Then they chill in the fridge and can be eaten in just an hour and a half.
These granola bars also make the perfect grab and go breakfast for the kids on those mornings when we are racing against the clock. The kids love them and I love how easy they are!
What is Sourdough Discard?
Sourdough discard refers to a portion of starter that is removed or discarded during the regular feeding and maintenance of a sourdough starter. The term “discard” doesn’t mean that the removed portion needs to be wasted though.
Many bakers save this discard and use it in various recipes, like sourdough granola bars, instead of throwing it away. Sourdough discard can add a tangy flavor to recipes and is often used in pancakes, waffles, muffins, crackers, or other baked goods. It’s a way to minimize waste and make use of the excess starter that would otherwise be discarded during the feeding process.
Why Use Sourdough Discard in Granola Bars?
Why would you use sourdough discard in granola bars? There isn’t one good reason for it, but many!
To Add Flavor
Sourdough discard can add depth and so much flavor to your granola bars. The tanginess from the sourdough discard adds to the overall taste, giving you bars with a interesting sweet yet tangy flavor profile.
Tangy sourdough notes pair perfectly with the brown sugar and honey in this recipe. Balancing the flavor and making your granola bars not too sweet or sour. I find the flavor of sourdough discard granola bars so much more appealing than just regular granola bars.
To Reduce Waste
Incorporating sourdough discard into discard recipes is a sustainable practice that helps reduce food waste. Rather than discarding the excess starter during the regular feeding process, you can repurpose it in various recipes, such as sourdough granola bars, to make delicious treats without wasting the flour used to make sourdough starter.
For the Health Benefits
Sourdough has many health benefits and can be a great alternative for those with mild gluten sensitivities. The long fermentation and beneficial bacteria break down much of the gluten a phytic acid. This makes sourdough much easier to digest and more nutrient and antioxidant rich.
Sourdough also acts as a prebiotic and can be great for improving digestive issues and overall gut health. Using it to make granola bars could potentially make them easier to digest and increase the availability of certain nutrients.
Tips and Tools
Tools I Recommend
For this recipe I find the following tools quite handy (Amazon affiliate links):
- 9″ x 13″ Baking Pan
- Rubber Spatula
Tips for Making Sourdough Granola Bars
- Use the Right Oats – Choose either old-fashioned oats for a slightly chewier texture or quick oats for a softer texture, depending on your preference. Avoid using steel-cut oats in this recipe.
- Add the Discard Before Heating. – When adding the discard to the coating mixture before bringing it to a boil. If added after the sugar has heated, the discard will cook on contact and you will end up with discard chunks in your granola bars instead of it being evenly distributed through out.
- Don’t Undercook – Cook the filling mixture fully to ensure the discard is cooked and you aren’t adding raw sourdough to your granola bars, which can cause bloating and GI issues. To do this boil the filling mixture on medium low heat for two minutes or until it heats above 140°F(60°C).
- Fully Chill Before Serving – Allow the bars to fully set by chilling them for at least 1 1/2 hours before serving. If you try to cut the bars sooner they may not hold together.