Sunday, January 31, 2016

an updated take on granola bars!

i'm just gonna go ahead and call these energy bars, okay?
i haven't bought a granola bar from the grocery store in several years so my boys think these are "granola bars".
and that's okay!
there is nothing (in my opinion) wrong with these little babies.
did you know that an average granola bar can contain as many as 25 ingredients, 12 grams of sugar, and sugar-filled ingredients like a chocolate sheath. they can be almost as bad as eating a real candy bar...a Twix Bar contains around the same amount of calories and sugar as an average granola bar!
and we are still calling these "healthy" and feeding them to our kids?!
no longer!
let your kiddos give these a try and you'll never go back!

Healthy Granola Bars
makes about 3 dozen, small-ish bars (about the same as one of those small Quaker ones)
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup no-salt sunflower seeds or pepitas (optional)
1 cup no-salt, mixed nuts (or use all of one kind if you'd like...i've done mixed, all almonds, and all walnuts before)
1 cup dry milk powder
3 eggs
1/2-3/4 cup honey (i don't use it but it does make it sweeter for newbies)
1 cup no-sugar added, dried fruit (optional...i don't do this but again, it adds sweetness for newbies)
1 cup peanut butter (or i use pb2 and mix the equivalent of 1 cup for less fat)
1/2 cup ground flax or i like to use a mix of ground flax and chia seeds
1/2 cup wheat germ (optional)
dash of vanilla (optional)
handful of chopped dark chocolate
coconut oil for greasing the pan

Preheat your oven to 350*F. Pulse everything together, except the chopped dark chocolate, in a food processor (or in batches if its easier). We like ours very finely chopped but go for big chunks, if you like them that way! Grease a jelly roll pan with the coconut oil and spread the mixture in a thin-ish layer. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until lightly browned and slightly dry looking on top. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle the chopped chocolate on top. Let sit for a few minutes getting melty and then spread quickly over the surface in a very thin layer with a rubber spatula. Let sit until just warm and then cut up into bars. Let cool completely and then package. I usually wrap them individually in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to eat. Enjoy!

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