My friends over at Oh Nuts! sent me a care package of some of their products. I’ve been a long-standing customer, I love their nuts/dried fruits, and was thrilled to start making some favorite recipes with their goodies. I’ve been meaning to whip up some granola bars that are very clean and wanted something that would have a good consistency and not be overly sweet. I’ve been eating clean, no refined sugars amongst other things for eight months now with huge changes to my body and the way I feel. PLUS, I prefer my family eat non-processed foods/snacks and they love granola so it was a must. These make a great road-trip snack idea too! We are headed out for two trips this week and I will have these on hand for the beach!
I had an old granola bar recipe that I started playing around with and tweaked it to perfection, in my opinion. I made one batch last night and it’s already depleted. You might be surprised to what the binding agent is… a banana! Yes, it works. They slice beautifully and have a great texture. Now if you like things a bit sweeter, you may wish to add a touch of a natural sweetener like stevia etc. I don’t think it needs it with the dried fruit but I wanted to share that tip.
1.25 cups of toasted, unsweetened coconut flakes
1 large ripe banana
1 scant cup of oats (I used gluten-free)
1/2 cup of ground flax seed meal (I use golden, organic Bob’s Red Mill)
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1/3 cup of almond milk (I used unsweetened)
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (you can substitute whatever nuts you have on hand or prefer)
1/3 cup of dried tart cherries (you can use whatever dried fruit you have on hand)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
Into your mixer, add the coconut, banana, oats and flax on a low setting until it combines. Then add the extract and almond milk – increase the speed a bit slowly so that it doesn’t splash everywhere. Lastly, I add the dried fruit and nuts with a wooden spoon. Dump the mixture out onto your cookie sheet. I then take a large piece of plastic wrap and lay it over the top and start spreading the mixture out into a large square about 1/2 inch thick. The mixture is malleable so it fairly easy to work with and holds its shape. Bake for 12-16 minutes or until the edges are golden. Remove and let cool for about 15 minutes or so then slice into your bars. Then let them cool completely. I wrap them individually and store in an airtight container. Happy snacking!