Chewy Granola Bars

granola

granolaGranola bars are a compact option for lunch or snack time. They travel and store incredibly well and taste great! However, be warned, because store-bought granola bars often contain loads of added sugar and hydrogenated fat, not to mention other food additives like sulphites and caramel flavoring which could contain ammonia.

One option is to make your own granola bars, which allows you to choose higher quality ingredients and keep the sugar to a minimum. The main ingredients for this recipe are fresh rolled oat flakes, almond meal, chopped pecans, shredded coconut, currants and apple butter. For extra fiber, protein and essential fatty acids, you can also add flax meal to give the granola bars that delicious chewy texture.

Rolled oats are super healthy. They help lower the amount of bad cholesterol in the bloodstream and contain lots of dietary fiber, iron and thiamine. With all the protein and fiber contained within these homemade granola bars, they can help give you that much-needed energy boost to get you through the afternoon, or start your day as part of a healthy breakfast.

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Another great option is that you can play with the size and shape of these granola bars to suit your needs. For any kids in the family they make a great wholesome snack, too!

Chewy Granola Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of freshly rolled oat flakes (or for a gluten-free version, use 1/2 cup of buckwheat and quinoa flakes)
  • 1/2 cup of almond meal
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup of currants or chopped raisins
  • 1/4 cup of flax meal
  • 4 tbsp of apple butter
  • 2 tbsp of tahini or almond butter
  • 2 tbsp of pure water
  • 1 tbsp of raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
  • 1 pinch of sea salt or rock salt

Directions

Combine the freshly rolled oat flakes (or gluten-free version), almond meal, pecans or walnuts, shredded coconut, currants or chopped raisins, flax meal, apple butter, tahini or almond butter, water, raw honey, cinnamon powder, and the sea salt or rock salt. Mix the ingredients well and shape them into bars with your hands. As an alternative, press the mixture into a rectangular cookie cutter to form uniform bars.
For eight to 10 hours, air dry the granola bars on a rack. If a dehydrator is an option, dry the bars for six to eight hours at 105 degrees Fahrenheit, or until your desired crispness is reached.
If stored in an air-tight container in the fridge, the granola bars will keep for at least two weeks.

Sources:
Cabaca, E., Earthly & Divine: Whole Recipes for a Healthy World (Richmond Hill: Pronto Reproductions Ltd., 2010), 49.
 “Rolled Oats: The fibre grain,” Pure Bread web site; http://www.purebread.co.nz/page730706, last accessed April 4, 2014.