Thursday, January 19, 2012

Healthy Granola Bars

I stopped buying most prepackaged foods a few years ago - I was concerned about the high sugar content, the preservatives, the other harmful ingredients and the general lack of nutrition (whole grains, etc). But it's always nice to have little snacks for school lunches and afternoon snacks to feed the kids so I've been on the lookout for healthy snack recipes to substitute for the prepackaged snacks. Here's one of my favorites (and our kids favorites) that I've found. Healthy in this instance is relative because it's not 100% healthy, but it's way better for you than it's prepackaged counterpart! The granola recipe comes from a friend of mine who shared it on her facebook one day. It's now my favorite because it's a perfect balance between "mostly healthy" and tasty.

My Favorite Granola

*Makes about 5-1/2 Cups

5 Cups rolled or quick oats
1/4 Cup nuts (I prefer either walnuts or almonds)
1/3 Cup unsweetened coconut
2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter
1 square of almond bark
3 Tbsp. xagave nectar or honey

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl mix together the oats, nuts, coconut, flax seed, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. In saucepan melt on low heat the butter, almond bark and xagave or honey. As soon as it is all melted together, quickly stir it into the dry mixture. Pour it all onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 F for 13-15 minutes or until slightly brown. Let cool in pan and then break apart. Eat plain, with yogurt or use in granola bars. 

Recipe Source: Recipe slightly adapted from one by my friend Jennifer

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

*Makes 16 granola bars

3 Cups of granola
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 Cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
Optional:  1/2 Cup of your choice of raisins, chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, chopped apricots, dates, or another fun add-in (for this batch I used ¼ Cup mint chips and ¼ Cup Reeses pieces)

Measure out the granola into a large bowl. In a medium saucepan over low heat melt together the butter and peanut butter. Crack both eggs into a small bowl and beat them up with a fork. When the margarine and peanut butter are completely melted together, remove the pan from the heat. Quickly whisk in the eggs all at once. Be speedy or the eggs will cook before they are mixed in and resemble a scrambled egg mess. Keep mixing until the mixture thickens and emulsifies into a dough-like texture. Then beat in the vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the bowl with the prepared granola. Add any optional ingredients to suit your taste and mix. Scoop the mixture out into a greased 8-inch square pan and press to fill the pan. Chill the bars in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until hard. Cut into 16 squares. Serve or keep refrigerated or frozen for later.

Recipe Source: Adapted from

Linked to What's Cooking Thursdays, Weekly Recipe Collection, Full Plate Thursday, It's a Keeper Thursday and Cooking Thursday


Sharyl said...

These look good-- kids would love these. I just posted a peanut butter chocolate chip hummus you might be interested in--- Amazing

Sandra said...

Now these look amazing, thank you for the recipe :)

Miz Helen said...

Hi Heather,
I can't wait to try your wonderful Granola Bars, we are going to just love them. Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen
A New Follower

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