This weekend I tried a recipe for Chocolate Granola Bars; they were a very tasty treat and Max (and Andy) approved!
As we continue to strive towards eating a “Real Food” diet, these are pretty close. Don’t get me wrong, they are definitely a sweet treat and made to be eaten in moderation, but apart from the sugar in the dark chocolate chips they are not processed and have no other refined ingredients.
In not wanting to buy packaged granola bars and snack foods, I have been looking for some recipes that I could prepare to always have something on hand for a snack/treat at home or that I could easily grab and go (especially the latter).
These will certainly do the trick!
They were a snap to make and only took about 15-20 minutes total to prepare and package. After the bars were ready, I simply put a few in a storage container in the fridge for this coming week (to be able to grab and place in a baggie/travel snack cup). And the rest I put in a tightly sealed ziplock bag in the freezer to use over the next month.
The original recipe is here, but I made modifications to increase the nutritional content and reduce the sugar (however, I will be making additional modifications for future batches):
Chocolate Granola Bars
- 2 cups dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup raw cocoa nibs
- 2 1/2 cups Rolled Oats
- 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes + 2 T. for garnish
- 1/3 cup shelled sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup butter
- In a small saucepan combine the butter and honey. Bring to a boil and boil on medium heat for 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl combine chocolate chips, nibs, oats, coconut (reserving 2 T.) and sunflower seeds.
- Spray 9×13 pan lightly with cooking spray
- Remove butter and honey mixture from heat and stir in peanut butter until combined.
- Pour liquid over the oat mixture (which will melt the chocolate chips).
- Once combined press evenly into prepared pan.
- Garnish top with the reserved 2 Tbsp.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour and then cut into bars.
- Store in a covered container in the fridge for up to a week or wrap and freeze.
The original recipe called for semi-sweet chocolate chips, rice krispies, sweetened coconut flakes and no nibs. I’m sure it was good, but it sounds too sweet for my taste. As it is, I plan to reduce the dark chocolate chips to about 1 1/2 cups and honey to maybe 1/3 or even 1/4 cup, as well as increase the peanut butter to about and the cocoa nibs (which are much more bitter) to about 1/2 cup. I also think almond butter could make for a yummy and nutritious substitute for the peanut butter.
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