Don’t be mistaken…these aren’t your typical, store-bought granola bars.
They’re BETTER! (And HEALTHY too!)
Have you every looked at the long lists of ingredients found on many popular granola bars? Chances are, lots of those bars out there aren’t exactly as healthy as you think they are, nor are they as healthy as they’re advertised to be. What’s really scary is that if you’re not careful about reading labels, you may just end up with a granola bar LOADED with high fructose corn syrup, sugar and a slew of artificial ingredients. Unfortunately, since conventional granola bars are such a cheap, easy and convenient snack to have in the cupboard, many people don’t think twice about what’s actually in them. The shocking truth is that some “healthy” granola bars can clock in with almost as many grams of sugar as a candy bar…and you wouldn’t want to start off your morning or fuel your workout with a Snickers or a Milky Way, now would you?
The other issue (for me at least) is that many snack bars and breakfast bars aren’t vegan (they often contain some variation of a milk ingredient). The other issue I have with all-natural granola bars is their high cost (unlike those other unnatural bars). While you can find all-natural, healthy, vegan granola bars in specialty stores and in the organic sections of supermarkets, they aren’t exactly cheap. So, between the high price and questionable ingredients, I rarely buy granola bars of any kind. This is such a drag, because granola bars really do make for such a great on-the-go snack and I often wish I had some in the house!
Today I decided to do just that.
I have quite a busy week coming up–which means lots of running around, lots of quick meals, and lots of snacks on-the-go. I knew granola bars would be the perfect thing to have on hand for the hectic days ahead but I didn’t want to shell out the cash for the organic, heathy kind. So, this morning, I decided to do a little experiment and make my OWN version of healthy granola bars.
And wouldn’t you know…
These cinnamon-raisin granola bars are all-natural, healthy, cheaper to make, and can be easily customized…plus they are GLUTEN-FREE and have NO ADDED SUGAR or FAT (Unless you choose to throw some chocolate chips in there…like me ).
- 1/2 cup steel-cut oats
- Heaping 1/2 cup whole, pitted, dates (I like the Dole and Sun-Maid brands because they are super soft)
- 1/3 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (feel free to add more depending upon how cinnamon-y you’d like your bars )
- 3 tablespoons raisins
- Dash of salt (can omit)
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
- Optional: 1-2 tablespoons non-dairy chocolate chips
(Makes 3 bars)
- Preheat the oven to 340º.
- Mix together the oats and almond milk in a bowl. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes (or until oats have absorbed most of the liquid and start to get soft).
- Once oats are ready, blend them with the dates, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt in a blender/Nutribullet/food processor (etc…).
- Mix in the raisins and chocolate chips.
- Transfer to a small baking dish (sprayed with an all-natural non-stick cooking spray), spreading the mixture evenly while pressing it firmly into the dish.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Once cooled, slice into three bars.
- Drizzle with cinnamon icing if you wish (Omit if you want these to be fat-free and sugar-free).
- Mix 1/4 cup of organic powdered-sugar, a little under 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of almond milk in a small bowl until smooth.
- Drizzle over granola bars!
Healthy, cheap, AND tasty? Now you have NO REASON to feel any granola bar guilt ever again!