Healthy Granola Bars

I LOVE GRANOLA BARS. A lot. They’re delicious and crunchy and portable, but the store bought ones, while delicious (Nature Valley Oats ‘n’ Honey Crunchy Granola Bars, anyone?? I would eat only those for the rest of my life if I could), are usually pretty sugar laden. So, I searched and searched to find a recipe that made a low sugar recipe, and even when I did, I still had to modify it a bit. So I give you, the healthiest, yummiest granola bars I could find 🙂

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I put cashews in mine, because they’re my favourite type of nuts and I buy tubs of them in bulk, but you can use whatever nuts or seeds you like, or leave them out! I do sometimes. The bars alone are delicious 😀

Adapted from skinnytaste.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter (or vegan margarine if you would prefer)
  • 1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar
  • 1 large egg (If I’m out of eggs I use about 3 tbsp of non-fat plain greek yogurt, or 3 tbsp of unsweetened applasauce)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped cashews*

*You can replace these with other nuts, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, dried fruit of any kind, coconut… really, go nuts and personalize these to suit your taste 🙂

Preheat your oven to 350 F and line a 9×9 inch pan with foil, so that some comes up over the edges for easy removal. Spray the pan lightly with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together your whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

In a large bowl, with a mixer (or a rubber spatula if you don’t want to pull out a mixer) cream together the butter and the sugar on medium speed.  Then beat in the egg (or chosen substitute) followed by the apple sauce and vanilla extract.

Working by hand, stir in the flour mixture and the oats until just combined and no streaks of flour remain; stir in the cashews (or whatever you are using in their place).

Spoon oats onto prepared baking dish, flattening to make an even layer . Bake for about 23-25 minutes, or until light brown at the edges. Do it this way if you prefer chewier bars, but I prefer them a bit crunchier, so I leave them in for an extra two minutes (27 in total).

Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting them, otherwise you will have a hard time cutting them (which should be done with a long serrated knife). You can either do 16 bars like I did, or sixteen squares. Or 8 large bars or squares 😀

-Happy Cooking!

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