Amazing Granola Bars
I love a great granola bar but I find them so expensive for what you get and so many have incredible amounts of sugar etc in them. Kira came to a private and brought us a mini tray of these amazing bars and my family munched through them so quickly I realized I needed the recipe. I had a chance to make them this weekend and they are fabulous. She also went through a couple tricks to make them chewy or crunchy, sweeter or not! Love it. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do
-1 cup brown sugar (you can use a lot less OR you can use monk fruit sweetener) I used the monk fruit and put in only 1/4 cup. Worked great!!!!! WHAT THE ? IS MONK FRUIT???? Monk fruit extract is 150 to 200 times sweeter than sugar. The extract contains zero calories, zero carbohydrates, zero sodium, and zero fat. Well that is a positive now isn't it. For those living in my area - the Enjoy Centre carries Monk Fruit Sweetener. If you want it a touch sweeter - use a bit more!
-2/3 cup natural peanut or almond butter. I actually used natural nut butter with coconut. For a more chewy less crunchy bar - use a bit more the butter and less of the oats!
-1/2 cup honey. I used the full amount here!
-1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
-1/2 cup coconut - I used unsweetened
-2 tsp sesame seeds - I used 4 tsp flax seed instead. WHY: Though tiny, they are rich in the omega-3 fatty acid ALA, lignans and fibre. These all have been shown to have many potential health benefits such as improved digestive health, lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol, reduced the risk of cancer and may benefit people with diabetes.
-2 3/4 cups of oats - again use less to make it more chewy and more or this amount to make is crunchy. I used this amount and mine were crunchy. I would use a little less next time and a bit more of the butter as mentioned above. I like them a bit chewier... and evidently so does Miss Ayla :)
-1/2 cup of sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. I went out on a limb here .... lol and I used 1/4 of each. What a rebel.
-1/2 cup wheat germ. WHY: The germ itself contains many nutrients. It's an excellent source of thiamine and a good source of folate, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.
You can add your fav protein powder if you want. Add a little less oats and sugar. The powders are usually a little sweet so you can hold back on the sugar even more. YUMMY. I have not tried this as of yet but I plan to!
-1 cup of chocolate chips. I used 1/2 cup choc chips and 1/2 cup of cranberries. Just to add a little sour touch to the bar. YUMMY. I also use dairy free choc chips that are semi sweet vs milk chocholate.
Press into a greased 9 by 13 inch pan
Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. (just till the edges turn brown. Under cooked is better) I left mine for 17 minutes - again they were crunchy like a typical bar vs chewy. Less time - more chewy!
Cut them into bars while still slightly warm but then wait till they are COMPLETELY cooled before taking them out the pan.
Let me know if you try them out and how they taste. Thanks Kira. These are going to be a staple in our house.