Healthy Baked Granola Bars or Raw Granola Balls
Hey friends! And heyyy new friends! Just wanted to take a minute to say hello hello to my newest blog readers! I'm so so happy to have you and thrilled to be connected!
So today I have a really yummy and easy healthy recipe for you. Yeah, we are on a kick over here. We love to cook and bake and eat! Ha! Aaron and I cook together daily and we've been doing a lot of clean eating recently. And by that I just mean healthy. Being more aware of what we are putting in our mouths / bodies. Nothing crazy. Nothing too strict. We have been eating some of the most deelish foods ever. Easy, fun to prepare, and made with fresh ingredients. The vegetable cutting board is working overtime...and we never feel like we've had cement transfused into our bloodstreams after dinner.
But you know I've been all about baking cupcakes, cookies, cakes...and all that great stuff...still am...but we are keeping an eye on ingredients, as well as how often we go wild. ;)
So for today I want to share these yummy homemade granola bars with you! Sometimes if you grab granola bars in the store you'll see that they really aren't too far from crazy candy bars when you read the ingredients. Well making them from scratch will let you rest assured because you control exactly what goes into them. They can be super delish without all the sugar and oils and stuff.
It's nice to have treats that are healthy, a great source of energy in your day, an excellent booster prior to a workout. And your kids will love them and you'll love that your kids are eating them! Annnd you can change them up every time you make them with little additions and extras! Like cinnamon, or almond extract...or change up your nuts...switch to dark chocolate...go with almond or cashew butter...some coconut flakes, dried fruit...the possibilities are endless!
Okie Doke...so here is what you'll need!
3 cups rolled oats
2 tablespoons flaxseed
1/2 cup unsalted walnuts or almonds, or peanuts, chopped
1 cup natural peanut butter, warmed up
1/2 cup honey
1 mashed ripe banana
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup carob chips or dark chocolate chips
other great ideas for add ins:
Preheat over to 350.
In a large bowl, combine your oats, flaxseed and nuts. Add your honey, and mix well. Now add your warmed up peanut butter, banana, and vanilla. Mix until moistened. Now, fold in your carob or chocolate chips or whatever add ins you'd like! You could add a bit more honey and/or peanutbutter if you think your mixture is too dry. It depends on your add ins. Try a tablespoon at a time.
Now, press your mixture into a greased (non-stick spray) 9 x 13 baking dish, and bake for about 25 mins. Edges will be a light golden brown.
Cool for about 5 mins before scoring your bars then let cool another 10 or so before cutting, to give them time to set up a bit.
Cut into squares and store between layers of waxed paper. These bars have a fantastic texture. Crisp edges with a moist, chewy, sweet center. I really think the banana makes all the difference!
*And for a Raw (no bake) option... you can roll this dough into balls and pop them in the fridge for about an hour. They are fantastic that way as well! We made them both ways!