Granola bars are a staple in my house. I always keep them around for on-the-go meals or to have as an afternoon snack at work.
Granola bars are one of those foods marketed as super healthy but if you actually look at the ingredients in most granola bars carried by your local grocery store, they are actually filled with SO much refined sugar and unnecessary filler ingredients. In fact, some granola bars have just as much sugar as a candy bar!!
When I am buying granola bars, I only get ones that have a few ingredients and all ingredients that I know and can pronounce. Lately I discovered and have been obsessed with these Simple Square* bars. Their bars only contain a few ingredients like cashews, almond, coconut and honey are completely raw so they are as high in nutrients as possible. Also all their bars are organic, gluten-free, and don’t contain any refined sugar, dairy, soy, or wheat. If you haven’t these bars yet DO IT. Get this variety 12-pack* and you can try all their amazing flavors. You wont regret it!
But as amazing as these bars and other organic and GF granola bars are, they aren’t cheap. So if you’re planning on having one every day or so that could really add up quick. So I decided to make my own granola bars!!
Making your own granola bars is actually super easy and they are SO easy to customize to make just to your liking! Just throw in your favorite nuts, dried fruit, and spices and voila! You have a perfect healthy granola bar with no refined sugar or added processed ingredients. Not to mention the money you are saving from buying individual bars all the time.
These bars can be made vegan by using maple syrup instead of honey and they are gluten-free if you use GF oats or just use only quinoa flakes. I used half oats, half quinoa flakes since the quinoa flakes* are higher in both quantity and quality of protein and also higher fiber than the oats. Oats also tend to raise blood sugar more than quinoa flakes. I didnt use only quinoa flakes because I wasnt sure how that would change the taste of the bars.
I roasted the nuts in these bars and toasted the oats in the oven too to give them a nice roasted flavor, but these bars would taste just as good with these ingredients left raw. Whatever you prefer. That’s the beauty of these bars! The dried plums could also be substituted with pitted dates. I used dried plums because they are quite a bit lower in sugar than dates and I actually enjoy their flavor better than dates too. I recommend soaking the dates just like I soaked the dried plums before processing them. It will help the bars stick together much better.
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