Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Homemade Chewy Fruit & Nut Granola Bars

A while back, I shared my recipe for my version of a chocolate peanut butter granola bar (the "Amy Bar") and today I'm introducing you to the fruit and nut version, the Jaymz Bar! ;) These chewy granola bars are packed with protein and fiber, sure to give you that energy boost your body sometimes needs between meals. Unlike many store-bought granola bars, they contain zero refined sugar, and they're free of gluten, soy, and corn.

Plus, making granola bars at home is fun! Daniel likes to help with stirring (though it does get a little tough) and pressing the granola into the pan...but we'll get to that in a bit. The process is very simple, and quite similar to how I make the chocolate granola bars, so if you need more visuals to help you along, head over to the chocolate granola bar recipe for more detailed photographs of the process.


Ingredients:


2 cups peanut butter
½ cup honey
1½ cups cereal/oats (we usually use 1 cup rolled oats and 1/2 cup crunchy cereal like rice puffs or Chex, lightly crushed, if you prefer)
½ cup almond meal (leftover from making almond milk) or flaxseed meal
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
1 cup of your favorite add-ins, like:
  • dried fruits such as cranberries, apricots (quartered), raisins
  • nuts of any kind (chopped, slivered...play with textures!)
  • sunflower or squash seeds
  • chipped or shredded coconut 


Directions:


  • In a large bowl, stir together peanut butter and honey until they're well mixed. (You can choose to combine them in a saucepan over low heat, if you wish. If everything is room temperature, it should be easy enough to stir without heating first.)
  • Mix in the cereal, almond meal, chia seeds, and other add-ins. The mixture should be firm (not gooey) but not dry or crumbly.
  • Dump granola out of the bowl into a 9x11" baking dish lined with parchment paper.
  • Here comes the fun part! Using your fingers (or a spoon), push the granola out to all four corners of the pan, packing it down with your hands as you go. Smooth out the top so it's nice and pretty.
  • Chill the pan of granola in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so. (Doesn't matter how long, really, just as long as it's kind of cold when you get it back out. Chilling helps make the bars easier to cut.)
  • Using a table knife, cut into bars (whatever size and shape you like). I usually cut once down the middle (along the length) and then divide from there. Jaymz prefers chunkier blocks of granola, while I prefer bars. (Sometimes he'll even make his bars in a loaf pan and slice off chunks like bread.) For Daniel, we usually cut the granola into little cubes. To each hir own!

Store the granola bars in waxed paper bags (our favorite for easy grab-and-go) or any airtight container in the refrigerator. I've heard that granola bars freeze well, too, so you could make a double batch of these, wrap them individually, and keep them in the freezer until you want one.

What's your favorite granola bar flavor combination? Tell us your recommendations in the comments below!





Six Ingredient Challenge buttonJoin the Six Ingredient Challenge hosted by Hobo Mama and Anktangle!

We're on a six-week path to eat more whole foods, guided by one simple rule: Buy foods with six ingredients or fewer. And we're blogging about our journey on the way.

To join in the Six Ingredient Challenge anytime during the six weeks, visit the sign-up page for a list of posts and to link up!


Linked up at Food on Fridays at Ann Kroeker, Friday Favorites at Simply Sweet Home, Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade, at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

3 comments:

  1. Do you have any nutritional values for these?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi! I live in a small town and cannot seem to get my hands on Chia seeds easily. Is there a substitute for them in this recipe, or could they be left out? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure, they can be left out if need be. I usually buy mine from Amazon, as I can find really good prices there: http://amzn.to/1bLIHZ7

      Delete

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