Food Facts: Granola Bars

Food Facts: Granola Bars

Granola bars can be packed with sugar and trans fats. Christie Clinic's Maura Kennedy shows us how to make our own healthier version at home.
Granola bars can be packed with sugar and trans fats. Christie Clinic's Maura Kennedy shows us how to make our own healthier version at home. 

Ingredients

For the Bars

·         1 cup whole almonds, divided 

·         1 cup walnuts, divided—almonds and walnuts are the leaders as far as heart healthy fats in nuts

·         1 ½ cup old fashion oats, divided

·         ¼ cup ground flax

·         2 Tablespoons chia seeds—definitely a super food, great source of protein…a complete protein rare in plant form, fiber and healthy fats, most of which are Omega 3’s

·         ½ cup coconut flakes—great source of fiber and iron

·         ¼ cup honey

·         ¼ cup coconut oil—a healthy oil, better for cooking at high temps than olive oil and great flavor for baking can also be used as a lotion on your skin or as a hair mask!

·         1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

·         ½ teaspoon cinnamon—powerful antioxidant helps regulate blood sugar

·         2 Tablespoons almond butter

For the Chocolate Glaze

·         1 Tablespoon coconut oil

·         10 ounces dark chocolate (about 1 ½ cups chopped)

·         1/4 cup chopped walnuts,

·         ¼ cup chopped coconut flakes

Directions

1.      In a food processorhttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png, add a ½ cup of almonds, ½ cup of walnuts, and ¾ cup of the oats. Process until it turns into a fine powder, about 1 minute. (Be careful not to over process, you don’t want it to start sticking together.)

2.      Roughly chop the remaining almonds and walnuts. Add them to a large bowl along with the remaining ¾ cup oats and the processed powder.

3.      Add to the bowl the ground flax, chia seeds, and coconut flakes. Toss together.

4.      Heat a small pan on the stove over medium heat. Add the honey, coconut oil, vanilla bean paste, cinnamon, and the almond butter. Stir constantly until everything is fully melted and begins to foam. Allow it to foam and bubble for about a minute before immediately pouring it over the nuts and oats mixture.

5.      Using a rubber spatula, stir everything together until it’s evenly distributed.

6.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 13x6’’ pan with parchment paper, enough to hang over two of the sides.

7.      Pour the granola mixture into the pan and spread evenly. Now using a metal spatula, begin pressing down really hard all along the edges and through the middle. (I was using my body weight a lot of the time. If you don’t press down so that it’s very tight, then when you go to cut them later, they’ll just fall apart on you. So it’s important to really put some pressure on it.)

8.      Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until firm. Remove and allow to cool completely.

9.      To make the chocolate glaze, melt 1 TB coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the chocolate chips, and stir often while they continue to melt until it becomes a perfectly smooth glaze.

10.  Pour it over the bars and using a spatula, spread it to the edges and even it out.

11.  Sprinkle the top with additional walnuts and coconut flakes if desired.

1.      Allow the top to set. (I made these in the afternoon, and it wasn’t completely firm until the next morning.) You can certainly cut into them sooner, but the chocolate will probably just melt off the edges.

2.      Once fully set, pick up both sides of the overhanging parchment paper and remove from the pan. Chop into desired size. (I cut mine to be about 1”x3” and I got 26 Bars out of them.)

 

Nutrition Facts:  26 bars

 

176 calories, 3.4 grams of sugar, 12.1 grams of fat


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