Granola bars can have added sugar, oils, fructose corn syrup and artificial this or that in them but these granola bars are full of goodness all around. They moist, smooth, creamy yet crunchy and taste so good you will have to share so you don’t eat them all. If you are a person with good will power these are great to make a head of time and pack up in Ziploc’s for quick on the go snacks or a fast breakfast. The protein and natural fat from the nuts will satisfy you and keep you full for a long time and the crunchy, sweet and salty goodness will make you want more. It took my about 6 tries to get the recipe right but now I can say that even my picky husband loves them!
I made mine gluten free just by using gluten free cereals and gluten free oats but if you don’t worry about that kind of thing then just use what ever kind of cereal you like best and regular whole oats. Try and buy nut butter that does not have added oils, sugars or artificial anything in it to keep them clean and healthier. I have to say, I just love these things and can easily eat a whole batch in a day so I try not to make them too often or make sure I hand them out to my family. They are so good you might think you are eating a cookie bar instead of a granola bar.
Basically you need a base which is your cereals, nuts and dried fruit and then you need a glue which is your sweeteners, nut butters, vanilla and applesauce. You can add other spices like nutmeg, allspice, pumpkin spice or what ever you like best. You can switch up your cereal’s and types of nut butters and even you sweeteners just get creative. This recipes easily doubles or triples if you need to make more and stays just as good.
Granola Bar Goodness
Makes: 8 bars
1/4 heaping cups nuts (I mixed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, slivered almonds, and chopped cashews)
1/4 cup dried fruit (I used raisins and cranberries)
3/4 cup oats
3/4 cups cereal of choice (I used a mixture puffed rice, toasted buckwheat groats, rice chex cereal all equaling 3/4 cups)
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1/4 heaping cup cashew butter (I have also tried almond butter and peanut butter and both great! No oil or sugar added!) Room temp so it is soft is a must.
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 heaping Tablespoons applesauce
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
A couple of dashes of cinnamon (or other spice you like)
Preheat over to 350°
Toast the buckwheat groats (if using) in a small pan for 2-3 minutes, add the sesame seeds and toast, stirring often, until they start to pop slightly.
Pour the toasted seeds into a large bowl and add everything else and mix well. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!
Wet your hands well and grab a small handful and smash together tightly then roll in your hands like you did with play-dough as a kid until it is the size of a bar then flatten out and place on parchment paper or a sprayed cookie sheet. Continue until you have made all the bars remembering to moisten hands if it starts to stick to your hands and becomes difficult.
Bake for 20 minutes, cool for 5-10 minutes and ENJOY!