Clean Eating Granola Bars

Lifestyle

I love granola bars! They are a great on-the-go snack but the store-bought ones are so full of sugar and preservatives. Yuck! So I set out to create a homemade granola bar that is completely clean. The problem I encountered, that if you search the web apparently most people also deal with, is that if you leave out butter and sugar you end up with a crumbly broken granola bar. That just won’t do! I want a granola bar that sticks together! So, I set out to make a clean granola bar that actually sticks together!

Here is the recipe that I was able to come up with that actually works! My husband can testify to the fact that I tweaked this recipe, scoured the internet and made many trial runs…because he helped me eat them all! :) This is the recipe that we have found that works! It’s not a super sweet recipe, so if you want sweet granola bars, feel free to add more money and maple syrup. Even try adding some stevia if you like! I prefer the granola bars on the less-sweet side. So, without further a-do, here’s my recipe!

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Ingredients

– 2 cups old fashioned oats

– 1/2 cup dried unsweetened cranberries

– 1/4 cup dried unsweetened blueberries

– 1/2 cup chopped nuts of your choice (I love pecan!)

– 2 tbs flax-seed

– 2 tbs chia seed

– 1/3 cup peanut butter

– 1/4 cup honey

– 1 tbs pure Grade B maple syrup

– cinnamon

– ginger

– all spice

– 3/4 cup milk

– 2 tbs almond flour

 

Steps

– In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, dried berries, chopped nuts, spices, flax-seed and chia seed. Give it a quick stir.

– In a microwave safe bowl, combine the honey, maple syrup, and peanut butter. Microwave it for 30-45 seconds so things are warm enough to combine, but without boiling or bubbling. (You could also add some vanilla!)

– Pour the honey mixture overtop of the oat mixture and combine so everything is wet and well combined.

– Pour the milk into the bowl and stir together. If it looks too wet, add some almond flour to get the texture right. You want it to be sticky but not too mushy.

– Place some parchment paper in a glass pan (I use a glass Pyrex casserole pan) and pour the granola bar mixture on top.

– Spread the granola mixture out evenly, avoiding any gaps or open spaces. It will be sticky so you may have to scrape it off your spatula. You don’t need to press the granola down firmly like some recipes require, but you do want to make sure it’s smooth without any open areas.

– Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. I don’t time this exactly, so just keep an eye on it at about 10 minutes on.

– Let them cool completely at room temperature. Then cut them!

– Store these individually in plastic wrap or ziplock bags in the refrigerator.

 

The keys to this recipe are to make sure the nuts you use are chopped. The larger the pieces of nuts the more likely you will get broken granola bars. They don’t need to be flour-like, but just small pieces. Another big factor is the milk combined with chia seeds. The chia seeds soak up the milk and puff up a bit which adds to the granola bars being able to stick together. And you MUST bake these!

Let me know if you give these granola bars a try and how you like them!

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