Granola bars are a fabulous go-to snack while traveling, after a work-out, hiking, or just to get some quick energy when on a busy schedule. You can stash them in your car, purse, briefcase, or backpack. The problem with store-bought granola bars is that many of them are loaded with sugar, calories, and preservatives. And, they can be quite expensive.
Making your own granola bars does require a little bit of time mixing and then baking or waiting for them to set up. The good news is that you can make a large batch at once, say on a weekend afternoon. They will keep for several days, or you can easily freeze them. Homemade granola bars can be a great source of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Here are a couple of granola bar recipes that are a bit different and healthier than the ones you might buy at the grocery store.
Easy, High Energy, Oat and Sesame Granola Bars
• 3 cups rolled oats (you can find gluten free)
• 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (use buckwheat or millet flour for gluten free)
• 2 cups toasted sesame seeds
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 3/4 cup canola oil or melted coconut oil
• 3/4 cup brown rice syrup or raw honey
• 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
• 2 TBS pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
2. Place the sesame seeds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for just a few minutes until dry and smelling fragrant, approximately 6 minutes. (Keep a close eye on them. Alternatively, purchase already toasted sesame seeds.)
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine well the oats, flour, sesame seeds, and salt. Mix in the oil, syrups, and vanilla. The mixture should be wet but firm. If it is still crumbly, add a little apple juice or water until it holds together.
4. Place the mixture on a dry, or parchment paper lined, baking sheet that has 1” sides. You might need two pans. Wet your hands and press the mixture until it fits evenly into the pan.
5. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cut into desired rectangles. Place the sheet of cut bars back into the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Allow to cool before serving or storing.
High Protein Quinoa, Oat, & Coconut Granola Bars
• 1 cup pre-rinsed, raw, multi-colored or red quinoa
• 1 cup rolled oats
• 1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut or coconut flakes
• 1/4 tsp sea salt
• 1/2 cup raw nuts, chopped, such as cashews, walnuts, or hazelnuts
• 1/2 cup raisins or a combination of raisins and carob chips (can substitute dried cranberries)
• 1/2 cup nut butter, such as almond or peanut
• 3/4 cup raw honey or pure maple syrup
• 3 TBS brown sugar (optional)
• 1 TBS vegetable oil
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
2. Spread the quinoa, oats, and nuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for approximately 6 to 8 minutes until just dry and fragrant.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine the oats, quinoa, coconut, salt, nuts, fruit, and chips.
4. In a saucepan, melt together the nut butter, honey, sugar, and vegetable oil. Pour this over the dry mixture and stir well to evenly coat.
5. Oil a 9×13 baking dish. Place the mixture into the dish and pat down to fill it evenly. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until the edges are just browned and crisp. Allow to cool completely and cut into serving rectangles.
Store granola bars in individual baggies for an easy grab-and-go snack. You can also freeze the individual portions for a few months and just grab a baggie from the freezer before you head out in the morning.