Homemade Granola Bars

Contributor: Ashley Neese
Photographer: Ashley Neese
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Why buy store bought granola bars, filled with preservatives, when you can make a batch in your own kitchen! If you don’t eat oats you can replace them with more seeds/nuts of your choice. I used the gluten free variety. I have gotten word that for some the chia seeds in this can end up in your teeth. I didn’t have that issue but if that is a concern than use flax seeds instead or grind the chia seeds and add them in as a powder. Of course you can omit them all together too.

As I was gathering the ingredients for the bars I remembered a cookie I made years ago with currants and orange. I decided to use some orange extract in the recipe and it is what makes these granola bars in their own class of awesome. You could also use orange zest. I made these on the fly with what I had in the kitchen and didn’t want to drive to the market just for an orange. Part of the fun in cooking for me is to see what I can come up with based on what I have on hand.

I got the ratio of the almond butter and sweetener just right so the bars hold together really well without being too sticky or too sweet. If coconut nectar isn’t on the menu use a sticky sweetener of your choice, dates would work or another dried fruit. These bars will last for a week in the fridge, 4 days out of the fridge. They are great snacks, breakfast bars on the go with your green juice/smoothie, and perfect for packing in your lunch. Enjoy!

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YUMMY GRANOLA BARS

serves 10

 

Ingredients //

  • 2.5 c. rolled oats
  • 3/4 c. raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 c. pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 c. shredded coconut
  • 1/4 c. chia seeds
  • 1 c. dried fruit (I used 1/2 currants and 1/2 chopped apricot)
  • 1/3 c. coconut nectar
  • 1 c. almond butter
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 pinches nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. Himalayan salt
  • 1  1/2 tsp. orange extract

 

Method //

  • Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Toast oats and nuts in the preheated oven on the lined baking sheet for 8-10 min stirring occasionally. Add the coconut and toast another 3 minutes. Pour contents into a large mixing bowl.
  • Grease an 8×8 baking dish with coconut oil.
  • Mix the coconut nectar, almond butter, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sat in a small sauce pan and warm  over low heat until it liquefies. Turn off heat and stir in the orange extract.
  • Pour that mixture over the toasted oats, seeds, and coconut. Add the fruit and chia seeds. Stir well with a wooden spoon and press firmly into the greased pan. Let cool for 1-2 hours and cut into desired serving sizes.
  • Store in fridge for up to 7 days.

I like to wrap the individual bars in tin foil or keep them in an airtight container.