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food : granola bars

April 28, 2011

I’m not a huge snack person. Unless we’re talking after dinner during my favorite shows or while watching a game, in which cases I can pack away snacks with the best of ’em. But when snack attacks do come to call, it’s always helpful to have something healthy on hand. The perfect option? Homemade granola bars!

These babies are fantastic for so many reasons. They’re basically a blank canvas – a nutritionally sound, no added sugar, portable answer to all of your mid-day snacking needs, canvas. They’re also a great way to use up withering bananas in a non bread/muffin way.

Here’s the basic recipe:

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

Four ingredients. That’s all. Life is good.

And THEN…go crazy! I’ve made a million variations : Peanut Butter Banana, Peanut Butter Apple, Raisin Walnut, Dried Cherry, the list goes on and on. Pictured above is my personal favorite: Apricot Pumpkin Seed. I toasted 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes and roughly chopped about 1/2 cup of dried apricots to add in to the basic mixture.

Once you have your desired ingredients ready, mix them all together with a wooden spoon or the best kitchen utensils of the bunch: your own two hands. It’s faster, easier, and more effective! Press the mixture into a lightly greased 9×9 baking pan and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.

Once cooled, slice them into 12 sections and store in a large Ziploc bag. They start to lose their luster after 5-7 days, but they usually don’t last that long anyway.

Next time I’m going to experiment with some spices, maybe some vanilla, to up the flavor quotient a bit; I also think they could stand a pinch of salt to bring out even more flavor. Someday I might try baking them lower and longer for a drier bar – these are fairly moist and chewy. I’ll let you know about any life-changing alterations!

And for a quick Back on Track update – I’m already feeling better after a few days of increased vegetables and decreased sugar. It’s a miracle! Or maybe it’s just common sense. Either way, it’s a good idea…and a much better ratio!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 28, 2011 11:44 am

    these look bangin :) i’m definitely going to be making these in the next few days! thanks for the recipe!!!

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