RECIPE. May 26, 2011

Not Compromising Granola Bars

Trying to put wholesome, natural, homemade food in my body and mother an eight month old can be an Olympic sport most days. I am often so consumed with this adorable little boy and the making of his food that I often overlook feeding myself until my stomach protests and loudly. There are also days that we have quite the busy social schedule and fitting in a meal, especially one made by my own two hands and full of nutrition, is nothing short of a miracle. Lately, I have been looking for ways to keep quick snacks on hand for those moments when I just need to fill my belly but I don’t want to short change my soul. Due to my blog stalking status at this site, I discovered a new recipe for the most incredible, easy and addicting granola bars.

The foundation of this recipe enables you to add dried fruit, other nuts, seeds and any other goodies that strike your fancy. The bars are softer than they look in pictures, resembling more of a cookie than a crispy bar. Each ingredient is full of powerful and wholesome nutrition. I would eat one bar topped with peanut butter and bananas for breakfast or grab one for a quick snack. It feels good to have something that fits my values, my time and my energy without compromising my soul or the health of my body.

{toast oats and nuts}

Preheat the oven to 350˚F with the rack in the middle. Lay peanuts and oats in a 9 x 13″ baking dish in a single layer. Bake for about 10 minutes until lightly toasted and golden brown. Set aside and let cool a bit.

{granola bars}

Keep the oven set to 350˚F. Line the 9 x 13″ baking dish with parchment paper. Heat up peanut butter and mashed bananas in microwave or over the stove and stir well to combine. Let cool a few minutes. In a medium bowl combine the oats, peanuts, coconut, flax meal, cinnamon, carob/chocolate chips, 1 tsp salt and banana mixture.

Fold in the pretzels. Taste granola and add any sweetener if desired. Spread the mixture evenly into the pan and top with 1 tsp remaining sea salt. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Your granola bars are done when the top is golden brown and the edges are a bit crispy.

Let them cool so they are easy to handle, gently transfer to a cutting surface removing parchment paper and cut with a serrated knife or pizza cutter.