These are slightly addictive. A two thumbs up kind of bar, according to my son, Max, which says a lot. He calls them the best granola bars. And yes, that makes me a happy mama.
It took a few tries because his skeptical mind wouldn’t allow him to like them on the first try. He started with one thumb slightly tilted downwards and my heart sank slightly. I have been working this this recipe for a couple weeks and it was really only his opinion that mattered. But I asked him to try it again and he gave it a thumbs 3/4 of the way up. And then he asked me for bar. And then another bar and then…he have them 2 thumbs up. It’s not that I want Max to eat granola bars all the time, but when he does I would prefer that he eats the one’s I make, where I can pronounce all the ingredients and know what exactly is in them.
He is my picky eater. Not just healthy food picky. He is equally picky about his treats. Or just about trying new things. We are working on having an open mind about things. To go into a situation thinking you might possible like it, otherwise nothing stands a chance. It’s a hard concept to grasp, even for adults.
But it is his lunch that I have to pack, his soccer practice snacks, his opinion that matters most. Of course, I sincerely hope you all enjoy them too. And I am happy that my husband, Eric, has taken such a liking to them. There is currently one granola bar left in the jar in the refrigerator. I wonder which of them will get to it first.
With this recipe, I may forever be done buying store bought granola bars.
Now I have to make a batch without chocolate chips. It’s not in my mature to do this, but my adorable daughter shockingly does not like chocolate chips. This is something that bewilders me and I must say, makes me a smidgen blue, but hey, she’ll come around. Someday. Currently she is on a seaweed kick. Also something I do not understand. I am, however more than happy to buy her seaweed snacks and she is happy that no one is asking her to share any.
This Memorial Day weekend we are going camping, rafting, hiking and hot springing with a few families and I think these will be the perfect snack for everyone.
Now for a little chatter about the ingredients. Quick Rolled Oats are important. If you used regular rolled oats, the consistency of the bars will change. They will be more cookie-like, which isn’t a bad thing if you want a cookie. My husband called them oatmeal cookie dough bars and they didn’t last a second. But I wanted a granola bar that wouldn’t fall apart. I used almond flour because I wanted them to be gluten-free, full of protein and also pack a nutrient punch with Vitamin E, Magnesium and calcium. If you are allergic to nuts, you could try grinding raw pumpkin seeds in a coffee grinder and using that as the flour. I also grind flax seed in my coffee grinder right before I use it. Maple sugar adds a great flavor to this bar but it is expensive. You could use a raw sugar, date sugar, coconut sugar or whatever you please. I used mini chocolate chips which I think is the perfect size for these bars. But if you wanted to go healthier try dried fruit and seeds. The cinnamon adds a wonderful warming flavor and is actually really good for you. It can help stabilize blood sugar, help lower bad cholesterol, it has anti-fungal properties, and might just help you next time you have a headache. Give it a try! I also used unrefined coconut oil and I think it works great. You could use butter instead but I wouldn’t recommend using canola oil or other highly processed vegetable oils. Coconut oil has so many health benefits. You can read about them here.
Enjoy! And please let me know if you make these, changed any ingredients, and what you think.
Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (makes about 15 large bars, 25 smaller bars)
3 Cups Quick Rolled Oats – I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Variety
1 1/2 Cups Almond Flour ( I use Honeyville)
1/2 Cup Ground Flax seed
1 tsp Salt
1/3 Cup Maple Sugar ( or raw sugar)
1 TBSP Cinnamon
1/3 Cup chopped Pecans (or any nut of your choice)
1/2 -1 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips -depending on how chocolatey you want them
1/2 Cup Honey
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup melted Coconut Oil
To Make: Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, add oats, almond meal, flax seeds, salt, maple sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Mix well. Melt coconut oil and honey together over medium heat and stir together. Add vanilla extract. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well to combine all flavors and ingredients. Once cooled for a couple minutes, add Chocolate chips (or else they will melt). Grease a large 13 x 9 baking dish and press the granola mixture into the pan. I use some wax paper to really push the mixture down so it is flat and even. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Cool and Cut into desired sizes. Then refrigerate for a couple hours. I leave these bars in the fridge.