Sugar Free Granola Bars
Try these easy grab 'n go snacks for your kids.
Anyone feel the urge to get some Spring cleaning underway? For me, this means giving some of my snack recipes a healthy makeover. These bars are packed with protein and fill me up if I have to skip lunch (which happens too often). If you’re looking for a fast, easy snack to have on hand for the kids, this is it! You can interchange the ingredients to create different flavors and feel good knowing you control the sugar.
These are a chewy granola bar with banana as the binder. You can certainly sweeten them, if you like. I have found that so many granola recipes are deceivingly high in sugar even if the recipe uses honey or maple syrup. Feel free to add some to this recipe, but I think the dried fruits add a subtle natural sweetness.
Change up the nuts, dried fruits and nut butters to create new flavors. Just keep the amounts the same and always add the banana and oats.
1/2 cup almond butter (peanut or cashew butters will work too)
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup whole almonds (other nuts will work too)
1 ½ cup total of dried fruits (cherries, cranberries, apricots, dates, coconut, mango, etc)
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp Vanilla (optional)
1/4 cup seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, etc. Optional)
Makes up to 12 bars depending on how you cut them.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line a small square brownie or loaf pan with parchment paper.
In a small bowl mash the bananas with the almond butter. Microwave 1-2 minutes stopping every 40 seconds or so to mix and mash further. Continue until well combined.
In a food processor, coarsely chop the almonds (or nuts) and dried fruits. Transfer to a bowl with the oats. Fold in the almond butter mixture. Press it into the prepared pan (about 1/2 in thick). Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting. Store in an airtight container or Ziploc bag for up to three days.
Note: you can also use muffin or mini muffin pans to make individual granola bites.