Homemade granola bars and granola are one of those “on the go” snack foods that are perfect for pretty much any situation: a quick and healthy breakfast, mixed in with some greek yogurt, a mid-day energy boost at work, or even an after-school snack for your kids. Granola can come in many forms. You might be surprised to learn that not all granola and granola bars are as healthy as you are lead to believe. Store bought granola bars are often dipped in chocolate or a variety of other coatings, this makes them generally very high in sugar and loaded with various preservatives to maintain texture and freshness. The first “healthy” leading brand of granola bar I looked at on the shelf consisted of over 25% sugar. That’s mind blowing if you stop and think about it, a quarter of that granola bar you’re about to devour is made of sugar, (probably not healthy sugars at that). This makes run of the mill granola bars very tasty and appealing. I have nothing against having sugar in my granola or granola bars, it helps bind the granola, and makes it taste oh so sweet, the key is to eat sweets like this in moderation! What I aim for in all my cooking and baking, is to limit or eliminate preservatives and unhealthy sugars, (such as corn syrup which you can usually substitute with raw honey). Of course this is easily done by making your own snackfood such as these homemade Pistachio, Cocoa, and Cherry Granola Bars!
Granola VS. Granola Bars
All granola generally consists of rolled oats, a variety of nuts, and some kind of sweetener and fat to help bind it together. While loose granola is generally eaten as an addition to cereal or yogurt, granola bars are the perfect snack food packed into a little bar for a quick bite on the go. Both follow the same general list of ingredients, though homemade granola bars will usually have one or two extra ingredients (such as egg whites or a nut butter) to make the bars stick together better and hold their shape. Granola is usually baked to create that wonderful crunchy texture we all love and crave. That doesn’t mean you have to bake it though. When making granola or granola bars at home, as long as there are no raw egg whites in the recipe, (or simply omit them) you have the option of using something sticky like natural peanut or almond butter to help bind the granola. You can then mix it until it clumps, and then chill until firm. Otherwise, press the whole mixture into a parchment lined cookie sheet, bake, and then cut once cooled.
Healthy Pistachio Granola Bars
This recipe is very straight forward and is filled with lots of tasty treats to give you a quick energy boost. You can use roasted or raw pistachios depending on what’s available to you.
3 cup oats
1 cup chopped raw pistachios
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup whole or ground flax seeds
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
3/4 brown sugar
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
Mix the oats, chopped pistachios, unsweetened shredded coconut, salt, and flax seeds together in a bowl.
In a saucepan melt the coconut oil, brown sugar and honey until just liquid. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix until well coated. Beat 2 egg whites with the vanilla extract until frothy and mix into the other ingredients.
Spread the granola bar mixture onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and spread out the mix until it evenly covers the surface of the pan. With wet hands, lightly pack it down. Bake on 300F for 20 to 30 minutes. The mixture will still look kind of wet and soft, don’t worry it will harden and crisp up as it cools. Let the pan cool for about 5 minutes and then cut the sheet of granola into bar sized portions. Be careful not to burn yourself as the mix may still be slightly hot. Let cool until completely set and then separate your homemade granola bars.
These tasty pistachio, cocoa, and cherry granola bars are easily packed up and able to be enjoyed wherever ever you are. The ingredients can be fairly easily swapped out as well for other nuts, dried fruits, and seeds. Change things up by adding some chia or even spices like cinnamon to the mix! If you want to make no-bake granola bars follow the recipe above and simply omit the egg whites and instead add some peanut or other nut butter until you can form firm balls with your hands. After mixing thoroughly, pack the mixture into a cookie sheet and cover with saran wrap and let chill over night until solid. Cut and store the bars in the fridge.
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Serves 25 grams
These healthy Pistachio, Cocoa, and Cherry Granola Bars are easy to make at home and cut out many of the unhealthy sugars and preservatives found in commercial brands.Adults and kids alike will love them!
15 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
- 3 cup oats
- 1 cup chopped raw pistachios
- 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 3/4 cup dried cherries
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup whole or ground flax seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3/4 brown sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Mix the oats, chopped pistachios, unsweetened shredded coconut, salt, and flax seeds together in a bowl.
- In a saucepan melt the coconut oil, brown sugar and honey until just liquid. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix until well coated. Beat 2 egg whites with the vanilla extract until frothy and mix into the other ingredients.
- Spread the granola bar mixture onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and spread out the mix until it evenly covers the surface of the pan. With wet hands lightly pack it down. Bake on 300F for 20 to 30 minutes.The mixture will still look kind of wet and soft, don't worry it will harden and crisp up as it cools.
- Let the pan cool for about 5 minutes and then cut the sheet of granola into bar sized portions.Let cool until completely set and then separate your homemade granola bars.
The pistachios and dried cherries can be switched out for your own combination of fruit and nuts
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