I think I have read every label of every granola bar ever made. Most likely, the granola bar aisle is where I spend the most amount of time in the grocery store. I read all of the ingredients, looking for several things: First, I look for Inulin, a type of fiber that is also called chicory root, and causes stomach upset in many people. In my case, it causes terrible stomach problems. 2. I look for soy or any derivative of soy (i.e. soy lecithin) because I have a mild allergy. This is where I will challenge you to take a look at your granola bar labels. I dare you to find one that does not have soy in it! 3. I take a look at the rest of the ingredient list and make sure it is not absurdly long and full of ridiculous, unnecessary preservatives. So, what I’m left with is one or two brands that are difficult to find and over-priced.
Well, no more! Granola bars are incredibly easy to make. I’ve looked at tons of recipes and tried 3 or 4 these past 2 weeks and I think I have perfected a basic recipe.
Things you’ll need:
3 cups rolled oats Soluble fiber for digestive health and cholesterol control
1/4 cup shredded coconut fiber, protein, iron and potassium
1/4 cup walnuts omega-3 fatty acids for heart health and anti-inflammatory properties
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc
1/4 cup flax seed fiber, omega-3 fatty acids
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon digestive aid, regulate blood sugars
1 teaspoon of salt (if the almond butter is unsalted)
1 cup almond butter calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, phytochemicals
3/4 cup honey natural sweetener that you can easily find locally in New England
1/4 cup water
Things to do:
Set the oven to 350. Spray a glass or metal baking dish with non-stick spray. Add all of the dry ingredients into the dish and mix. Toast all of the ingredients for about 10 minutes. While toasting mix the almond butter, honey and water together. Take the toasted ingredients out of the over and mix in the wet ingredients with a spatula (I’ve found this works even better then your hands which was my first method Make sure all of the ingredients stick together well and press the granola flat. If there are some dried ingredients along the edges I sprinkle a bit of water on them and press them into the rest. As you have probably gathered, I am by no means a “natural” at cooking but I persevere. Bake the granola for about 20 minutes. Let cool and then slice into bars. It makes 15-20 servings. If the bars end up crumbling to become a bit more like clusters, hey, it’s still delicious. The beauty of this recipe is that you can modify it in so many ways; it’s very difficult to get this wrong. I added crystalized ginger to my last batch and decreased the honey to 1/2 cup.
I did the math and my granola, with all organic ingredients, came out to just $0.52 per bar. Combine this with only 15 minutes of total prep time, a delicious smelling apartment, and an ingredient list that my body will appreciate, and these just cannot be beat. Enjoy!
Special thanks to Cara who inspired these granola bars and offered helpful tips during the process.