Grocery stores have shelf after shelf of granola bars. Many of them are high calorie, but you can also buy low-fat, high fiber, or high protein. Do you know what's in them? Have you read the nutrition labels? Some of the ingredients in granola bars may be palm oil, coconut oil, sucralose, sorbital, maltitol, and butylated hydroxytoluene. Translated, this means saturated fat, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives.
I went in search of a recipe for a good, all-natural, low-fat granola bar. I found this recipe for reduced-fat chewy granola bars in a Shop Smart magazine and made a few changes. Here is the result.
Chewy Granola Bars
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup chopped dried peaches
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish and line with parchment paper.
Toss the oats and almonds together on a sheet pan and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Mix in wheat germ, peaches, and cranberries. Add honey, brown sugar, melted butter, vanilla, and salt. Mix well. Stir in mini chocolate chips.
Spoon dough into pan, lightly pressing dough evenly into the pan with moistened fingers.
Bake 18 to 20 minutes until lightly browned. Cool in baking dish 2 to 3 hours. Flip out on cutting board, remove parchment paper, and cut with a sharp knife.
I'm packing a few granola bars and heading to Atlanta for the Haven Conference this weekend. I hope to learn lots about blogging, renew some friendships, and make some new friends.