We have all been there, the dreaded 3pm slump when you start craving something a little salty and a tad sweet. Instead of reaching for a packaged granola bar- make your own! Homemade granola bars may seem intimidating, but they are extremely simple and adaptable and, most likely, you have all the ingredients waiting for you in your pantry.
These bars are fully loaded with nuts, seeds, omega 3's, magnesium, protein, and iron - not to mention a hearty dose of fiber guaranteed to get things moving in all the right directions. They are also gluten-free, vegan, and naturally sweetened with barley malt syrup or brown rice syrup.
- Don't want to use peanut butter? Swap in almond, cashew, or sunflower seed butter.
- Not a cranberry fan? Use raisins, dried cherries, or chopped dates.
- Out of pepitas? Chop up some pecans, almonds, or walnuts as a pepita alternative.
Make these during Sunday meal prep, and snack on them all week long.
Fully loaded granola bars
makes 10 bars
A no fuss granola bar to power you through your 3pm slump
- 2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free, if needed)
- 1/2 cup raw pepitas (raw almonds, pecans, or walnuts also work, roughly chopped)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cranberries (dried cherries, raisins, or chopped dates are good alternatives)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons flax seeds
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla bean powder or vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (almond, cashew, or sunflower seed butter work too)
- 1/2 cup barley malt syrup, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread oats and pepitas out on a parchment paper-lined sheet tray and toast for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden. Check frequently to avoid over toasting.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the toasted oats and pepitas with the cranberries, chia, flax, and hemp seeds, cinnamon, and vanilla bean powder. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, warm barley malt syrup (brown rice syrup or maple syrup if using) and peanut butter over low heat. Stir until well combined and mixture bubbles slightly. Be careful not to burn.
- Pour peanut butter mixture into oat mixture and mix very well. The mixture will be thick and slightly hard to stir.
- Line a 8 x 8-inch pan with parchment paper and pour in granola mixture. Cover granola mixture with another piece of parchment paper and press down to get a smooth compact form. Use a book, pastry roller, or bottle of olive oil if needed. The more compact, the better the bars hold together.
- Place pan in the freezer for 20 minutes. Once chilled, lift the granola from the pan using the parchment paper as handles and place on a cutting board. Chop into 10 bars.
- Store in an airtight container for 1 week or return to the freezer for up to a month.