Homemade Granola Bars

I have been on a mission lately to cut out as much processed, junky food from our diet as possible. I began to notice how much of it we were eating, purely out of convenience, and I decided enough was enough. I pride myself on my cooking skills, taking time and care to make home cooked meals a few times a week, but even then, the amount of processed food in those recipes is still substantial. Whatever happened to making everything you could from scratch? Most of it isn’t complicated, but we have turned to these things for the sake of saving a few minutes and maybe $0.50 in the long run. In the end, we are ingesting chemicals, and extra junk that our bodies don’t need and the planet doesn’t benefit from. No thanks.

So I have started with the little things; snacks. For Jason and Marley’s lunches, and my own snacking pleasure, I’ve started to seek out home made recipes for the simple things that have become our go-to quick bite to eat. Could I easily make them? Could I make them, and still keep them healthy? We will see!

First thing I tackled is granola bars. Jason will easily go through a box of these in a few days, looking for a pick me up or a quick snack while on the go at work. I dug through Pinterest and Google, looking for recipes that looked good. I finally combined a few I liked and came up with a winner. These bars are super crazy easy, and if you buy your ingredients at a bulk food place, you can also make them cheaply. The beauty of them is that it’s a basic bar recipe, so you can toss in any extras you wish: dried fruit, nuts, protein, candy. Go crazy. I have a feeling I’ll be making these quite often.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp flax seed
  • 3 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 3/4 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup organic honey

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, flax seed, hemp hearts and peanuts.
  3. Add in honey, and mix thoroughly to combine.
  4. Add in peanut butter, stirring well to get everything moistened and combined.
  5. At this point, you can leave them as is, or add in your other options: chocolate chips, other nuts, dried fruit, seeds, coconut etc. I added in chocolate chips.
  6. Don’t be afraid to get your hands in there and work the mixture to get it very well combined! I sometimes add in a little more honey to make it more pliable, you really want everything to sick together, otherwise they will crumble apart.
  7. Line a 8×12 dish with parchment paper, with 2-3 inches of overhang on the ends. Dump in mixture, and press into the dish. I sometimes spread a little more melted peanut butter over the top, just to add some more goodness. You could also drizzle melted chocolate!
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  9. Try not to burn your mouth while scarfing them all up.
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