I’ve never been a fan of granola bars. I don’t know, I just felt like if I was going to have something with a lot of calories to satisfy my hunger between mealtimes, I may as well eat something more, well, satisfying! The only advantage of granola bars are that they keep forever, they’re cheap, and they’re easy to carry around in a backpack or diaper bag. For snacks I usually stick to fruit, cheese, or a small portion of leftovers.

Lately however, I’ve been attempting to get my two year old to eat something besides blueberries and hot dogs. She gets her veggies hidden in her smoothies, and she gets a lot of healthy fats, which are my priority for her (you know, brain development and stuff). And I wouldn’t call myself an expert in nutrition (although I do a lot of reading on the subject), but I felt like something more starchy and carby might fill in some dietary gaps  (that could of course just be my Dutch background speaking where bread makes up 75% of the diet). I wanted to make something from scratch in order to control spending and ingredients (gluten, sugar, and preservative free).  I tried A LOT of granola bar recipes! And either they didn’t taste good, or they wouldn’t stick together, or it just didn’t adhere to my “simplicity” motto.

These, however, were a hit (for me at least!). They are easy, stick together, and taste good if you like dense and chewy. My toddler won’t eat them 😦 But what else is new! I’ve given up on trying to create a healthy granola bar that she will actually eat and decided that it must not be that imortant to achieve after all. There may come a day when she will like these, and then I will be a very happy mama. They would be excellent in a packed school lunch! In the meantime, I will make these for myself and enjoy them guilt-free.

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats, ground into a flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup packed pitteddates
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F and line a 9-inch square pan with two pieces of parchment paper, one going each way. Or grease mini muffin pan with coconut oil. Makes 24 mini muffins.
  2. Add rolled oats into a blender. Blend on highest speed until a fine flour forms. Add oat flour into a large bowl.
  3. Add water and pitted dates into blender. Blend until super smooth.
  4. Add all of the ingredients into the bowl with the oat flour and stir well until combined.
  5. Scoop the mixture into the pan and spread it out with a spatula as evenly as possible. Or half the mixture into 12 mini-muffin pan.

Bake at 325F for about 23-25 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then lift it out and transfer it to a cooling rack for another 5-10 minutes. Slice and enjoy!

What about you? Do you like granola bars? Do your kids eat them?

Recipe from http://www.ohsheglows.com

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