I was searching for a recipe for a granola bar that wasn't laden with sugar; becuase let's face it, many of these "granola bars" are really just candy bars with some oats in them. Yes, yes! I know there are a lot of good ones on the market, and not all are chocolate dipped, but still, I am slightly suspicious of these as a go to health snack. That being said, one of the off the shelf brands I do like are Kashi Honey Almond Flax as they only have 5g of sugar per serving and 4g of fiber, not half bad for a office drawer emergency snack if you ask me.
Now. There is something deeply satisfying about making these; being aware of exactly what goes into them. True, there is a bit of honey, but 3 tbs isn't much for all the bars this recipe yeilds. Also, there are health benefits to honey (when consumend in moderation), it's anit-bacterial, anti-fungal, and an immunity booster just to name a few.
After doing a fair amount of research, I decided to make these Totally Baked: Hemp Protien Granola Bars from Sarah Britton's website ~ My New Roots. I'm obsessed with her blog as firstly, it's gorgeous! But most importantly (I suppose the content IS more important than the look) it's filled with awesome recipes using whole foods. Sarah explains, in detail, the many benefits of all the ingredients in this recipe, so I'll leave it to the expert!
Below are the ingredients I used, as I tweaked it a TINY bit, but follow the link above for her exact recipe.
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups rolled oats 3/4 cup brazil nuts 1 cup dates, chopped 1 cup coconut flakes 1/2 cup hemp protein powder 1/4 cup sesame seeds 2 Tbsp. poppy seeds 2 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. salt 3 ripe bananas 1/4 cup olive oil 2 tsp. vanilla extract 3 Tbsp. honey 2 Tbsp. chia seeds 6 Tbsp. water
3 Tbsp. Cacoa nibs
Preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl, mix the chia seeds and water together. Set aside. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients. In a food processor or blender, mix bananas, oil, vanilla, and honey (you can also just mash everything together with a fork). Add the chia mix. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Spread the batter evenly into a baking pan (mine was 9″ x 9″), and smooth out the top with the back of a spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Let cool completely, store in airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for longer shelf life.
Note: As these are really filling, I found mine to be a tiny bit thick, next time I would use a bit of a bigger pan. Oh right, like the 9" x 11" size she suggests :-) Exactly the reason she is the professional.