Make ahead granola bars to pack in lunches all week.
Did you know that some granola bars can contain as much sugar and calories as a candy bar? These chewy granola bars have all the flavor that we've come to love with a granola bar but are made much healthier. Make up a batch today to eat all week.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- ¾ cup chopped nuts of your choice (almond, cashew, etc.)
- ½-¾ cups apple sauce, or more if needed
- 3-4 tablespoons peanut butter powder, such as PB2
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 6-10 pitted dates, soaked (depending on the size of dates, may need more)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips (or whatever flavor of mini chips you would like)
- ½ cup dried fruit of choice (cherries, raisins, cranberries, apricots, etc.)
Line a 13x9 baking dish (or 9x9 baking dish if you would like thicker granola bars) with parchment paper and set it aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking/cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread oatmeal and chopped nuts on it. Place in oven for 10-15 minutes to toast the nuts and oatmeal, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Once done, remove from oven.
While oatmeal and nuts are toasting, place the soaked dates, applesauce, vanilla extra, peanut butter powder, cinnamon and nutmeg in a food processor (or sturdy blender) and combine until mixture is pureed.
Combine liquid ingredients from the food processor with toasted oatmeal and nuts in a bowl, adding in dried fruit of choice. Stir until mixture is well combined (if too thick you may add extra applesauce).
Press mixture into the prepared 13x9 or 9x9 baking dish and cook for about 20-25 minutes, depending on the size of the baking dish.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before cutting.
Nutrition Facts (per serving):
120 calories, 4.5g fat (1g saturated fat), 0mg cholesterol, 19g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 7g sugar, 2g included added sugar, 3g fiber
Recipe from Cecelia Jacobson, Registered Dietitian for the Oregon Heart and Vascular Institute at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend.