Yes, you can. Freezing store-bought granola bars not only helps with portion control but also allows you to stockpile a reasonable amount of treats for your friends and family. In this write-up, we will delve deeper into how to freeze store-bought granola bars.
Granola bars are perhaps the most convenient snack-on-the-go. They are the best way to keep full on a busy day and a spectacular way to kick start your day. In as much as they often come in small bars that you can finish up in one sitting, there are times when it may be too sugary for you and all you need is a little bite. What then do you do with the rest? Freeze them, of course.
In general, granola bars are crumbly and tend to fall apart if left out on the countertop for too long. Sometimes, they turn out stale which makes them quite unappetizing. Aside from that, leaving them out on the countertop leads to faster spoilage thus a huge waste of money. To counter all these problems, freezing is a better way to keep your granola bars intact at all times and extend their shelf life.
How to freeze store-bought granola bars
Freezing granola bars is beneficial as it prevents the growth of microorganisms on leftover granola and increases its shelf life in the long run. To successfully freeze store-bought granola bars, you should follow the steps below;
Step one; Put your granola bars in containers, heavy-duty freezer bags, or vacuum-sealed bags
You need to begin by packing your granola bars into the containers you want to store them in. This means that you would need to remove the granola bars from their original packaging and transfer them to any of your choices- whether an air-tight container, a freezer bag, or a vacuum-sealed bag. If you have chosen to use airtight containers, you should note that glass jars work better than plastic containers. If you intend to grab your granola bars as a daily morning snack, you may want to use freezer bags, and if you are looking for a longer-lasting option, vacuum sealed bags work pretty well.
Step Two: Remove air pockets or ensure that your granola bars are well packed
Once your granola bars are in the rightful containers and bags, press them in to remove any air gaps. This prevents freezer burn. As you do this, ensure to leave about 1/4 inch towards the top of the bags or container to prevent them from getting stuck.
Alternatively, you can vacuum seal your granola bags to remove any air and moisture particles. Vacuum sealing significantly retains the flavor and quality of your granola bars as it prevents dehydration and oxidation.
Step Three: Label the packaging
Next, label your containers or freezer bags, depending on whichever of the two you choose to use. Write down the ideal consumption period and the contents or flavoring of your granola bars. Once you are done labeling, place them in the freezer, and consume them at will. Ensure to consume them within 3-5 months of freezing to enjoy them when at their best quality.
What is the shelf life of store-bought granola bars?
Store-bought granola bars are manufactured from dehydrated ingredients such as dried nuts and rolled oats. These ingredients tend to stay fresh for a long time because they are dry. The period under which your granola bars can last in your fridge, freezer, or pantry is dependent on whether you store them in normal packaging containers or freezer bags or whether you vacuum seal them.
If you vacuum seal them, they can last for up to 8 months after the freezing date and if you pack them in ordinary freezer bags or airtight containers, they may last for about 6 months.
Time period it can last after expiry date
Vacuum Sealed Granola bars
Granola bars packed in normal packaging
How to Thaw Frozen Granola Bars
In general, you cannot eat granola bars when they are frozen. You would need to thaw them before consumption. Unlike ordinary foods, you cannot thaw granola bars in the fridge or a water bath. You need to let it sit at room temperature for a couple of hours, say about 2-3. Since they are dehydrated, there won’t be too much moisture thus would come out crispy and soggy. However, if you did not pack them well, then you may notice freezer burn and they may not be the most audible option.
How can you tell if your granola bars have gone bad?
Just like every other food item, granola bars tend to go bad if you do not store them the right way. Generally, granola bars have dehydrated ingredients. This means that they have very little moisture and this is partly the reason why they last for a long period. Also, the fact that it has little moisture means that it may not develop mold.
What spoils granola bars is the nuts due to the high oil content in them. The oil content caused them to get rancid. The only way to know whether your granola has gone bad is through taste and smell. If it has been a while before you have eaten your granola bars, you should taste them first and ensure to try the nuts in them before snacking on them.
Granola bars could last you a considerable amount of time if you store them properly. All you need to do is ensure that they are in air-tight containers and heavy-duty freezer bags.
Can I eat granola bars after their expiry date?
Yes, you can. Granola bars are often safe for consumption even a few days after their expiry date.
Can you use maple syrup as an alternative for brown sugar and honey in your granola bars?
Yes, you can. However, your granola bars may not be as crunchy as they when you use maple syrup in the place of honey and brown sugar.