Chewy Homemade Granola Bars

When you’re trying to eat healthy, reduce sugar, up your nutrients and drink more water, sometimes food isn’t as fun as it should be.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some absolutely mouth-watering healthy dinners, desserts and snacks, so I know food can be delicious AND not terrible for you. But that being said…kale. Does anyone REALLY like it??

Inspired by my HR Manager, who made little (healthy) tidbits of delight called “Amazeballs” for our Friday snack and chat, this week on the blog I wanted to bring back one of my favourite recipes for homemade granola bars.

This recipe is a fantastic base for any healthy bits you want to squeeze into your diet.  I’m always looking to add more fibre to my meals, so I often make these with ground flax seed, hemp hearts, dried fruit and (of course) lots of rolled oats.  If you want more protein, or healthy fats, or omega-3s, just change up the recipe a bit and throw some new stuff in!

IMG_4680
Combining the dry ingredients

INGREDIENTS

2 cups rolled oats (NOT minute or instant oats!!)

1/2 cup brown sugar (you can replace this sugar with about 3-4 chopped dates)

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 cup cocoa powder (optional)

1/3 cup peanut butter

4-5 tbsp coconut oil OR butter OR applesauce

1/4 cup honey or pure maple syrup

1-2 tbsp water (as needed)

2 1/2 cups add-ins (dried fruit, nuts, seeds, flax, unsweetened coconut flakes etc.)

Handful of chocolate chips (optional)

 

METHOD

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
  2. If necessary, chop up dried fruit/nuts (i.e. chop whole walnuts into 4 pieces)
  3. Stir together all dry ingredients (oats, sugar, spices, cocoa and any dry add-ins)

    IMG_4685
    The add-ins I used this time were walnuts, dried cranberries, unsweetened coconut, sunflower seeds and sliced almonds. (I’m in love with Bulk Barn so I always have quite a few options)
  4. Take peanut butter, coconut oil, honey, and chocolate chips and microwave for 45 seconds on HIGH. Stir until smooth (make sure there are no lumps of coconut oil)
  5. Add peanut butter mixture to dry ingredients and stir until all dry ingredients are coated.  If the mixture seems a little dry, add 1-2 tbsp water.  It’s ok if the mixture is wet – it will just make the bars chewier.

    IMG_4686
    The mixture before you bake it
  6. Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper and spray parchment paper with cooking spray. Press your mixture firmly into the pan so the top is smooth.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. 20 minutes and the bars will be cooked but still chewy (like Chewy Dipps granola bars), 30 minutes the bars will be dry and more like Nature Valley granola bars.IMG_4689
  8. Let cool completely before cutting. (My husband and I tend to leave these bars in the pan and just cut pieces off as we go).  Store at room temperature for up to a week.

I highly recommend a small piece of these bars with some plain greek yogurt. #NOM

 

Enjoy!

Erin

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