These chewy granola bars are not only good for you, but so easy to make. I plan to keep these on hand from now on, and when our baby is big enough, these will make a wonderful healthy snack for him, too.
Mix it up with some dried fruit or natural, unsweetened coconut, cashews or almonds, pumpkin seeds, etc., and the variations are endless...
It's been a stressful few weeks in our house, with our baby coming down with a cold that affected him so severely, turning into RSV or Bronchiolitis, we had to spend Valentine's night at the children's hospital so his oxygen levels could be monitored. We were able to bring him home the next day, but with a portable oxygen tank, which he needed for a full week until his lungs were cleared of the infection and he could breathe well on his own again. Fortunately, he is feeling much better now, but his mom, not so much. This has probably been the worst cold/cough/upper respiratory crud thing that I remember experiencing in years, and we're all a little sleep-deprived, although happily, on the mend.
My husband made a big pot of chicken and vegetable soup to help me feel better; he always makes the best bone broths. Baby boy is eagerly eating solid foods again this week, now that his nose is no longer stuffy, and I swear, this kid will eat anything I make for him. I've enjoyed roasting vegetables and pureeing and freezing little portions of food for him to eat for breakfast, and so far he eats oatmeal, applesauce, bananas, peas, roasted yams and purple sweet potatoes, and carrots, and he loves it all. Tomorrow, he gets to try roasted cauliflower, pureed with coconut milk and seasoned lightly with cinnamon.
And although my head is still a little achy and I'm still coughing a bit here and there, I'm feeling mostly back to normal, and am baking and recipe testing again. This morning, during my baby's morning nap which only ended up lasting 30 minutes, I made these quick and easy chewy granola bars to have on hand for a healthy snack or breakfast, and I think they are going to become a staple in our house.
I used whatever nuts and seeds I had in the pantry, and the recipe can certainly be customized to your individual taste. Next time, I might try adding some chopped dried apricots or maybe a little maple extract!
Chewy Granola Bars
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 2/3 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons flax seeds
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup natural almond butter
- 1/3 cup raw honey
*If you like, you can toast the oats, nuts and seeds first on a baking sheet to bring out more flavor.
*You can add any type of seeds, nuts, coconut and dried fruit (preferably, raw, unsalted and unsweetened) to this recipe to suit your taste.
*Peanut butter, or another nut butter, can be substituted for the almond butter.
*You might even try adding a teaspoon of vanilla or maple extract.
In a bowl, combine the oats, pecans, chocolate chips, seeds, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the almond butter and honey until the mixture is evenly coated and very thick and sticky.
Line an 8 or 9 inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Firmly press the granola into the dish. Chill for about an hour, then remove from the dish by lifting out the edges of the paper. Cut into bars and wrap each bar in wax paper. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container to keep fresh for several weeks.
Yields 10 adult-sized bars or 20 child-sized bars
Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen