Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Make Your Own: Chewy Granola Bars

Even though I love my job, working in an office every day has its drawbacks for anyone active and fitness minded. There's the hours of sitting every day and the cravings to be outside in the summer sunshine. And then there's the challenge of planning snacks and lunches to take along each day.

A few times a week I run home over lunch, but many days I take lunch along. And I always, always pack snacks. Granola bars or protein bars are a favorite snack of mine when paired with a piece of fruit in the afternoon, but when I actually take time to look at the ingredient list of many of my favorites, it makes me cringe.

Take, for example, Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars. Snack staple of kids and adults alike. They lure you in with the '100 calorie' burst on the box, but the ingredient list is less than stellar.

I find it hard to believe all these ingredients are necessary, or healthy for that matter. So I set out to make my own, and was more than trilled with the results. Although they fall apart a little easier than their store-bought counterparts, they are bursting with fresh, real flavor thanks to the addition of almond butter, honey and vanilla. And as a bonus, they make your kitchen smell like you're making waffle cones. Doesn't get any better than that!

Make Your Own: Chewy Granola Bars

*1/3 cup almond butter
*1/3 cup honey
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
*2 cups Kashi GoLean Crunch! cereal (large pieces broken up slightly)
*2 cups regular rolled oats
*1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips

*Line an 8x8x2-inch baking bakin with aluminum foil. Set aside.
*In a small saucepan, combine the almond butter, honey and vanilla extract. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until mixture is hot and well combined. Remove from heat.
*In a large mixing bowl, combine the Kashi cereal and oats. Our almond butter mixture over cereal mixture and stir until evenly combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
*Press mixture into lined baking pan. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Remove granola bar mixture and foil from baking pan and cut into 8 bars. To store, wrap in aluminum foil or store in a zip-top bag and keep in the refrigerator.

Nutrition information per bar: 195 cal., 9 g fat, 119 mg chol., 180 mg potassium, 28 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 5 g protein, 13 g sugar

Happy snacking!



Anonymous said...

I am making these tonight! YUM!

Anonymous said...

I am usually pretty health conscious about my eating choices but lately I have been finding myself going the extra mile and making sure I read every.single.ingredient on the label. Holy smokes, there is a lot of junk out there even under the popular labels of "Organic" or "All-Natural" or "Zero Trans Fats". It is so refreshing to DIY and know everything about what you make is wholesome. These granola bars most certainly fit the bill! Thank you so much for sharing. I am adding these to my arsenal. :)

Megan said...

YES!! I've been wanting to make my own granola bars for awhile, but just haven't taken the time yet! I found one other recipe I liked, so I'm going to take an afternoon to make yours and the other and then I'll be set...for maybe a week or so! lol!

I've got two giveaways on my blog right should check them out if you get a moment!

BP said...

OMG! Artificial Flavor and BHT - yum yum! :D Aren't those like, gourmet? Either that or Lab Materials. Haha thanks for the delicious recipe alternative!

Lauren at Keep It Sweet said...

I'm always looking for new snacks to take to work! I get so sick of the same old stuff. These sound great!

Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean said...

these look awesome! can't wait to try :)

Tricia @ Saving room for dessert said...

I just made some but yours look pretty great! I may have to give these a try. I wish I didn't sit at a desk all day. So tired of not moving around - people were not meant to sit still for 8 or more hours a day!

paddle attachment said...

I always did like chewy granola bars the best. And as your pictures and ingredient lists prove, homemade bars rule!

El Hada de las Tartas said...

Qué buenas! Me encantan las barritas de cereales! Un besito:)

Jesse said...

I've been wanting to make my own granola bars for awhile, you're right, the list of ingredients on most boxes is beyond scary! I tend to eat lara bars because I can pronounce most of the ingredients but I'd love to make my own version. Thanks for the recipe!

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