During the summer, I like to think that I’m eating healthier. For one thing, I don’t have to rush out the door at 6:30 every morning for 7:00 bus duty. This means I have time for a pretty decent breakfast of homemade granola with fresh fruit and almond milk. (Yes, I am admitting it. My morning breakfast during the school year is at best a pre-packaged breakfast bar or simply a latte with an extra shot from Starbucks.) So, as August 1 approaches which means I report back to the office, I am going to stock up on some homemade granola bars. (This recipe is based on two previous posts: Granola Bars and Peachy Keen Granola Bars.)
Go Nuts Granola Bars
from Eliot’s Eats
1 c. whole roasted almonds (unsalted)
1 c. roasted pistachios (unsalted)
1 c. rolled oats
1/4 c. cacao nibs
1/4 c. pepitas
1/2 c. dried Goji berries
2 T. chia seeds
1/4 c. plus 2 T. local honey
3 T. coconut oil
1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 t. pure vanilla extract
1/4 t. almond extract
dash of cinnamon
Place 1/2 cup each of almonds, pistachios, and oats in a food processor. Pulse until fine and then pour into a large bowl. Rough chop the remaining nuts and add along with remaining oats. Add the cacoa nibs, pepitas, Goji berris and chia seeds.
Mix well and set aside.
Combine honey, coconut oil, salt, vanilla and almond extracts, and cinnamon in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until mixture foams and then cook for 15 seconds longer (stirring constantly). Pour over the granola mixture and mix thoroughly to coat all ingredients.
Line an 8×8 pan with plastic wrap letting the edges hang far over the sides. Pour in granola mixture. Press very, very firmly with your hands or something with a flat bottom.* Wrap the overhanging plastic wrap up over the sides to seal and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.
*Tip: If using a flat bottom pan to press the bars, spray the bottom side of the “pressing” pan with non-stick spray or coat with a bit of coconut oil. I have an 8″x8″ pan that is just a bit smaller than my other one and nestles inside perfectly for smashing down bars and crusts.
Obviously, this is packed full of fruity and nutty goodness, goodness for your taste buds and your well-being. If you need a healthy rationalization to make these, here you go:
- Almonds contain healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and Vitamin E.
- Pistachios contain fewer calories and more potassium and Vitamin K per serving than other nuts.
- Oatmeal may help reduce the risk of heart disease and contains soluble fiber.
- Cacao nibs are one of the best sources of magnesium, iron, and antioxidants and are rich in fiber.
- Pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) also contain heart healthy magnesium as well as zinc and plant-based Omega-3 Fats.
- Goji berries are high in vitamin C and fiber, and low in calories. They are also a good source of iron and Vitamin A.
- Chia Seeds are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, are rich in antioxidants, and contain fiber, magnesium, zinc, iron and calcium.
- Honey can contain small amounts of a wide array of vitamins and minerals, including niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Some believe using local honey aids in allergy complaints.
- Coconut oil is high in natural saturated fats which aids in your HDL (the good cholesterol).
See, you have no excuse to not make these!!!!!!
These bars need to be kept refrigerated, BUT the great thing is you can cut them, re-wrap them and freeze them in individual servings. These will be perfect for me to grab one out of the freezer to hit the road with in the mornings.
These bars are also good to pack along for any hike, pool party, outdoor summer concert, etc. Just take the frozen bars out of the freezer and pack in a sealable bag with cooler drinks.
Please enjoy the rest of your summer!
I was contacted by Nuts.com to dream up a recipe using some of their nutty products. Although no promotional products were provided for this post, I was honored to be asked. (This family run business has been around since 1929.) I am competing for a spot on their website with these granola bars. I hope you check it out. They would love it if others were inspired to create their own nutty dishes.