Easy, Unsweetened, Homemade: Granola Bars

Moving to NZ has forced me to pay a lot more attention to what we eat.  Food is more expensive here, and things that are readily available in the States aren’t on the shelves of our local grocery.  While I wouldn’t mind if the food prices came down a bit, overall, this increased attention to food has been a good thing.  We eat a lot more vegetarian-style than when we were in the States, and I’ve gotten quite handy at making things that I used to buy pre-made.  Things like pasta sauce, salsa, and cereal are all part of my usual cooking routine.  I make crock-pot applesauce and homemade tortilla chips.  I love to make soup rather than buy it canned.  I prefer to bake our own bread and rolls over those at the bakery.  We’re eating healthier, and I’m enjoying it.

My latest quest has been to find a healthy, no-added sugar granola bar recipe.  And I’ve found it.

Everyone, meet my granola bars:

Aren’t they lovely?

I’ve been goofing around with a couple of different recipes.  I wanted something that both Chris and I liked that was easy, that was healthy, and didn’t take long to put together.

This one definitely satisfies those criteria.

I like to wrap them individually in cling-wrap and freeze them.  I’ll take one out in the morning and have it with lunch or toss it in the diaper bag when I’m taking Joe for a walk.  Or if you want one ASAP but don’t want to wait for it to defrost, just pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds.

They’re healthy, easy, and oh-so-delicious.  A bit more chewy than crunchy, which is just how I like ’em 🙂

UNSWEETENED GRANOLA BARS

Dry Ingredients

  • 3 C rolled oats {regular or gluten-free}
  • 2 C coconut flakes
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 C sesame seeds
  • 1 C chopped nuts {I used walnuts}
  • 2 C unsweetened dried fruit {I used 1 C of cranberries and 1 C of peaches}
  • Dash salt

Mix the above ingredients in a large bowl.  Set aside.

Wet Ingredients

  • 6 ripe bananas, mashed {use 7 bananas if you want it a bit more moist}
  • 1/2 C canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence

Mix the above ingredients together.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients {I like to mix it with my hands – this ensures that the banana is good and mashed}.  Press into a large baking sheet that’s coated with non-stick cooking spray.  Bars should be about a 1/2 inch thick.  Bake in preheated oven at 175C/350F for 20 minutes till edges are golden.  Allow to cool, then slice with a pizza cutter.  Wrap individually in cling-wrap and freeze.

Yield: 24 good-sized bars or 32 small bars

Feel free to adjust this recipe as you so choose.  Maybe you don’t like coconut, or you want something with extra cinnamon.  That’s the beauty of this recipe – I can make granola bars with raisins or dried blueberries or whatever I feel like.  And I cannot tell that they don’t have sugar – they taste so sweet and yummy!  They’re also much more economical than buying the boxed bars at the grocery.  Realizing that makes them taste just a bit sweeter 😉

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17 comments

  1. Janine says:

    I’m late to commenting because I saw this post and then found myself with a pile of bananas on Sunday that I needed to use. I’ve already eaten seven of them – they’re the perfect travel food. I don’t have a freezer so I’ve been keeping them in the fridge because I’m on the road but they’re still great.

  2. Laura says:

    Wow those look really yummy! I have been trying to get on a healthier eating kick and these would be right up my alley 🙂 My son would maybe even give them a shot!

    thanks for sharing the recipe!

    Laura
    laurasblondemoments.blogspot.com

  3. Jenny says:

    I’ve just recently started making a lot more things from scratch and am really enjoying it. I’m constantly on the lookout for more websites/cookbooks that don’t add sugar!

  4. Pamela says:

    Oh, i’m so on the ‘no added sugar’ buzz.

    I’m also with you on the ‘no canned soup’ buzz. Canned soup has SO MUCH SHIT in it.

    These bars looks perfect and i’m gonna try em 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  5. Valerie says:

    Num! What a great recipe – and I like the grab & go option since you wrap them individually. I’m remembering all those tubs of dried fruit you could get at NZ grocery stores… we’re so limited in variety here in the states. I think I need to get a dehydrator and dry my own fruit! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  6. varunner7 says:

    These look great. Except for the bananas. Any way you look at it, I just can’t do bananas! I love to make granola bars though. I once did a cookoff – I made 8 different types – and then we had a taste off to see which one the boys liked best. It was funny – everyone had a different favorite.

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