So, you’ve decided you want granola bars for easy snacking throughout the week. Now, if you are like me, you will check out all your favorite recipe blogs, but you won’t find *just* what you’re looking for. Instead, you try Google with your very specific request: “no banana, low sugar, budget-friendly granola bars”. A slew of yummy recipes appear, but none totally fit the bill.
Finding that recipe that satisfies your taste buds, can be made with what’s in your kitchen, and fulfills what you’re looking for nutrition-wise is no simple task.
My personal hang-ups with many recipes:
Banana is the main binder. Now, I don’t mind bananas a bit, but doesn’t it seem that banana is in every recipe? Plus, I find that after a few days the banana flavor becomes too strong and sometimes causes a color change in baked goods.
The recipe calls for 1 cup of almond butter- uh… you want me to use half a jar of the almond butter (aka gold) I worked very hard to pay for?
Too high in sugar- don’t get me wrong, I love sugar. However, when I am looking for an afternoon snack, I want sustainable energy, not dessert.
Or perhaps the recipe just calls for ingredients I don’t have… and I want to make the granola bars now.
So instead of giving up and walking away from the endeavor, I decided to attempt to make my own. Recipe-creation is fun, but when it comes to baked goods, I am a little shy to try it. Proportions in baking are very important, thus easy to screw up.
I bucked up some courage, cringed as I used every precious ingredient, and ended up with something rather delicious: a small-batch of satisfying, nutty granola bars. Not too sweet, but filling and hearty.
Pumpkin Oat Granola Bars
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup almond milk
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup almond flour
2 tbsp flax meal
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp sugar or stevia equivalent
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 13×5 pan (or 8×8).
Blend the wet ingredients together using a food processor or a rubber spatula.
Add in all other ingredients, mixing together until well combined. Spread mixture evenly into pan.
Bake for 18-20 minutes. Take out of oven and allow to cool before cutting.
I went ahead and cut mine into 8 squares, and wrapped them in wax paper and aluminum foil for easy grabbing throughout the week.
Do you have any specific things you look for when it comes to afternoon snacks?
Favorite ingredient for granola bars?