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Since I’ve started on my No-Sweets Challenge, I’ve been paying much closer attention to what goes into the foods I that eat. Most the amount of sugar in a product (anything over 10 grams is a no-no) and the amount of protein. Sadly, my store-bought granola bars just didn’t cut it. So what did I do, I decided to make my own of course.
I don’t have much to say about these, except that they are perhaps the best granola bars that I have eaten. No, scratch that. They are THE BEST that I have eaten. Ever. In my entire life. And I plan on making these in batches, often, because we devoured the entire pan in under a week. That’s 30 bars people.
Aside from the fact that these are delicious, they are super healthy. They are packed full of filling grains, seeds, nuts and fruit. They are full of protein and fiber. They are my new BFF.
Without further ado, here’s the recipe.
Super Energy Granola Bars
3-1/2 cups old fashioned or quick cooking oats
1 cup craisins
2/3 cup honey roasted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup crushed almonds (slivered would work too)
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup ground up oats – grind to the consistency of flour (you can also use oat bran or whole wheat flour)
3 tablespoons flax seeds
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1-1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 cup honey
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350º. Line a 9 x 13 pan with aluminum foil (or just spray the pan with cooking spray and forget about the tin foil).
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In a large bowl combine the oatmeal, craisins, sunflower seeds, crushed almonds, wheat germ, ground up oats, flax seeds and cinnamon. In a medium bowl, combine peanut butter, honey, oil and vanilla. Add to the dry mixture, mix until combined (this is hard work!).
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Press very firmly into the prepared pan. If you don’t press them enough, the bars will end up crumbly. Bake for 15 minutes, then pop into the fridge to harden, 30-45 minutes. Cut into 30 bars.
I store my bars in the fridge, but you probably don’t have to. In my mind, it keeps the bars firmer.
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Get a little creative! There are so many things you could do with these bars. Add some raisins, dried blueberries, plums or apricots; milk, white or dark chocolate chips, peanuts; peanuts, walnuts or your favorite nut. Melt some chocolate over the top for an extra treat. Substitute the honey with maple syrup. Use less peanut butter and honey to bring out the flavor of the grains and nuts. Try something new each time. And don’t forget to let me know how they turned out.