chewy granola bars

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chewy granola bars

Postby lfwfv » Sat May 15, 2010 1:19 pm

Hi everyone,

I've been trying to come up with a quick, easy-to-make, no-added-sugar, whole foods granola bar substitute to make for my husband.

He is eating only whole foods except for one Nature Valley Granola Bar every day. The rest of the time, he eats all oil-free, dairy free, meat free, whole grains, veggies, legumes, fruits, and nuts.

I have slowly substituted in better options for his snacks (chickpeas were the acceptable substitute for pretzel sticks, a homemade mixture of walnuts and raisins substitutes for the trail mix he used to eat etc.).

I had yet to find a workable solution for his granola bars though. He needed a portable snack, something satisfying that required several bites to consume, something that would tide him over to lunch. And *I* wanted something that was easy and cheap to make if I was going to have to make it on a weekly basis, and I also really did not want to use any sugar or sweetener other than fruit.

I searched high and low for acceptable solutions but the only 'decent' pre-made bar out there seems to be lara bars, which are way to calorie dense since he already eats 1-2 ounces of nuts per day. They're also expensive!

So, today, after doing some snooping at whole foods granola bar recipes, I came up with my own. It was easy to prepare, he liked it, and he said I can sub 2 of them in for the nature valley granola bar he's been taking to work! Yeah! A victory :)

here it is:

2 cup rolled oats
2 very large, very ripe, frozen bananas (thawed- the texture is different than fresh and it's easier to mix)
1 cup frozen, pitted cherries (thawed, cut into small bits, liquid reserved. I'm sure thawed berries would work equally well)
1 tsp each: cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, ginger, vanilla
optional: 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1) Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8x8 dish with parchment paper cut to fit (or use square silicone baking dish...this works great!)
2) Mix all ingredients together thoroughly (including the cherry juice). Spread evenly in pan.
3) Bake for approx. 40min. or until bars are set and slightly browned.
4) Cut into 8 bars immediately, but allow them to cool completely in the pan before removing.

Hope you enjoy these
lfwfv

Edited 9/10:

I make this recipe on a near-weekly basis. Over time, I have tweaked it a bit so it is even easier and tastier. I also usually make 2 batches at once and I invested in two 8x8 silicone baking dishes which make life so much easier! Here are the alterations, and also a variation:

2 cups rolled oats
2.5-3 very ripe bananas
1 cup thawed sweet cherries, or blueberries
1 tsp each: vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg
optional: 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1) Preheat oven to 350F.
2) In food processor, blend fruit and spices (my husband prefers it when there are still some little chunks of cherry vs. completely smooth).
3) Combine oats and food processor mixture together in large bowl.
4) Evenly distribute mixture in 8x8 silicone dish.
5) Bake for approx. 40min. or until bars are set and slightly browned.
6) Cut into 8 bars immediately, but allow them to cool completely in the pan before removing.

I store these in the fridge in a sealed container. They last at least a week in the fridge and my husband takes two to work each day. They are very hearty and filling (according to him).

A variation:
2 cups rolled oats
2.5-3 very ripe bananas
1/2 20 oz can of chunk/crush pineapple in 100% juice, mostly drained (i double the recipe so i end up using the whole can)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
optional: 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

Follow same directions as above, however, cooking time may be longer depending on how much juice you choose to leave in the pineapples.
Last edited by lfwfv on Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:53 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: chewy granola bars

Postby Faith in DC » Mon May 17, 2010 10:29 am

It sounds good. I bet it has more flavor than the packaged kind too.
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Re: chewy granola bars

Postby veganeliz » Mon May 17, 2010 10:35 am

Thanks! I am Going to make these!
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Re: chewy granola bars

Postby lfwfv » Tue May 18, 2010 7:30 pm

<>
Last edited by lfwfv on Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: chewy granola bars

Postby ruupyet » Thu May 20, 2010 4:35 pm

I make a similar fruit bar but I use dried fruit. I have been wanting to try fresh or frozen but I was worried it would be too mushy. You inspired me with your recipe!

Here is what I did:

4 very heaping cups oatmeal
1/3 cup flax seed meal
3 ripe bananas
12oz package frozen cherries

I mixed the first three things together. Thawed the cherries slightly and pulsed them four or five times in the food processor. I added the cherries to everything else and mixed well.
Press everything into a 13x9 pan lined with parchment. Baked at 350 for 30 minutes. Removed from parchment immediately and allowed to cool. Yummy! Thanks for the recipe.
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Re: chewy granola bars

Postby bunsofaluminum » Wed May 26, 2010 8:36 pm

Ooh, I'd like to try these! Do they keep well?
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Re: chewy granola bars

Postby lfwfv » Sun May 30, 2010 11:31 am

Hi Buns,

I keep the bars in a sealed container in a fridge. They seem to last fine for a week.

lfwfv
Last edited by lfwfv on Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: chewy granola bars

Postby bunsofaluminum » Sun May 30, 2010 1:36 pm

yum! I am going to make these this week! I can hardly wait. Gonna get the ingredients today and put the bananas in to freeze. :nod:

thanks for the recipe. My kids'll probably enjoy these, too!
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Re: chewy granola bars

Postby frozenveg » Sun May 30, 2010 1:42 pm

Thanks so much for this! I can't wait to try it. The closest I have come for my husband was the Quaker caramel rice cakes--but our store hardly ever carries them, and they are wicked expensive! ($3 for 6 rice cakes!?!?!?!)

One thing, tho--there is no way my husband has ever eaten one of anything! Even I have never eaten just one granola bar!!! What control! So I'm not going to try them until he gets back in town (4 weeks without him, I could not trust myself not to eat the whole batch).
5'3", 67 YO. Started Jan. 11, 2010
Starting weight: 222.6
Current weight: 129.2
93.4 lbs lost, as of Oct. 2011


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Re: chewy granola bars

Postby lfwfv » Sun May 30, 2010 7:02 pm

My husband eats two of these bars in place of one nature valley granola bar (which contains 2 bars). He says they are very satisfying and filling and he has a big appetite (6'3", 185 lbs).

I'd love to hear what you guys think once you try them. I can't try them myself because of my food intolerances so I am just basing this on my husband's feedback!

I am thinking I may try other frozen fruit in place of the cherries sometime (maybe blueberries??)

take care
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Re: chewy granola bars

Postby Kevtrane » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:30 am

These bars sound great but I am a little confused. How do you mix the bananas and cherries while they are still frozen? Do you process them in a food processor?
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Re: chewy granola bars

Postby lfwfv » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:12 pm

ummm...be sure to read the directions thoroughly (it says they're unthawed...) Hope it's clearer then...I use the frozen because, once unthawed, they are a lot easier to mix to the 'dough' rather than using mashed fresh bananas and fresh chopped cherries.

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Re: chewy granola bars

Postby Kevtrane » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:35 pm

OK, I get it, I think. It might be clearer if you said thawed since unthawed means still frozen. Either way I understand now.

Thanks
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Re: chewy granola bars

Postby frozenveg » Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:18 pm

Wait, now I'm confused: Should we thaw the bananas and cherries, or leave them frozen before mixing these? (Cos I'm with Kevtrane--unthawed means still frozen.)
5'3", 67 YO. Started Jan. 11, 2010
Starting weight: 222.6
Current weight: 129.2
93.4 lbs lost, as of Oct. 2011


Following the McDougall plan gave me my life back! Thank you, Dr. McD!
http://www.drmcdougall.com/stars/cloudy_rockwell.htm
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Re: chewy granola bars

Postby lfwfv » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:33 pm

so sorry! :oops: I edited the recipe...should read 'thawed' frozen fruit. Sorry!!
lfwfv
Last edited by lfwfv on Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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