The ubiquitous granola bar: portable, filling, nutritious, and delicious! I completely love them! But my only issue with them is their unpronounceable ingredients. From there began my journey of experimenting with different combinations of nuts and fats to create a healthier version. Some turned into plain granola, some were so soft that they would just crumble the moment they were picked up, some were too sticky, and some were hard as a rock. But after a few weeks of trial and error I was finally able to create a bar which was able to hold its own.
There is a ton of flexibility in terms of the ingredients. For example, in case you don’t have oat flour, you can grind some of the rolled oats or use wheat/coconut flour instead. If you don’t have dates, you can substitute raisins(although this will increase the number of calories and the sugar content). If you don’t like peanut butter, you can even substitute almond butter. Just make sure that the peanut/almond butter that you use has no additives like salt, sugar, oils and is made purely from the nuts. Sometimes I add extra chocolate at the request of my oldest daughter 🙂 You can also definitely change the kind of nuts you want to use; just make sure to keep the quantities close to those in the recipe in order to get the same number of servings. Obviously, the nutritional content will vary according to any changes that are made. I have provided nutritional content that is based off of the different sizes of the bars, and even the size of the pan you choose. For instance, if you use a large pan, the bars will be thinner and higher in number. There are lots of choices, so definitely go ahead and try making some! You won’t go back to the store-bought ones 🙂
Honey – 1/3 cup
Ground Flax – ¼ cup
Organic Oat Flour – 1/3 cup
Organic Creamy Peanut Butter with no added sugar (make sure the only ingredient is peanuts, no salt or any kind of oils)– ¼ cup
Mini semi-sweet/dark chocolate chips – 2T
Almonds – ½ cup chopped up
Pitted dates – 1/3 cup chopped up
Organic Old Fashioned Toasted Rolled Oats – 1 cups
- Chop the almonds with a sharp knife or buy chopped ones itself.
- Also chop the dates.
- Mix all the dry ingredients really well.
- Add the honey and peanut butter. Mix with a silicon spatula.
- Then slightly wet your hands and mix everything the good old-fashioned way to break down the large clumps.
- I have used a 6”x 8” x 2″ Pyrex glass container with a lid. Lid will come useful later to store the bars in the refrigerator.
- Line the pan with aluminum foil. Spray/grease with canola oil
- Put the mix in lined greased pan.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips and then press down really tightly for about a minute or so with your hands for the bars to form a good shape. You can also put a cling film on top and press with a potato masher to get the mixture tightly, evenly pressed in the pan.
- Bake the mix in the oven at 3500 F for 20-25 min. Bake till the edges turn slightly brown.
- Just lift the entire baked mixture using the aluminum foil overhang and place on chopping board.
- Cut into rectangular bars and then let them cool for an hour outside and later in the refrigerator in a closed box for another 30 min.
- If you want them soft then keep them at room temperature with pieces of parchment in between to prevent them from sticking. If you prefer slightly firmer, refrigerate them.
Serving Size: 6 extra-large ones or 8 medium ones
Per Serving for 6 extra-large: Calories 281 cal, Fat 16 g, Sat Fat 1.6 g, Carbs 31 g, Fiber 7 g, Sugar 13.7 g, Protein 10 g
Per Serving for 8 medium: Calories 211 cal, Fat 12 g, Sat Fat 1 g, Carbs 23 g, Fiber 5 g, Sugar 10 g, Protein 7.3 g
This recipe was submitted to the Alphabakes contest!