Almond granola bars are healthy, homemade and delicious. Great for a snack, breakfast or a treat. Saffron and rose flavored, these are refined sugar free.
What are granola bars?
A granola bar is a snack food prepared with rolled oats, puffed cereals, nuts, honey or other sweeteners such as maple syrup, brown sugar and flavorings.
These bars are often baked until toasted and golden brown, sometimes crunchy or chewy. They are a popular option for a quick breakfast, lunchbox treat or a snack.
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Are granola bars good for you?
Granola bars are often considered a healthy treat by default. But not all granola bar recipes are actually healthy.
It really depends on the ingredients. A wholesome treat such as these almond granola bars use all whole ingredients, not overly rich and with no artificial ingredients.
Quite often though, granola bar recipes are literally calorie bombs loaded with rich ingredients. Those may work well for gaining weight.
But if you are looking for a balanced and healthy treat, choose recipes that use a combination of grains, cereals and some nuts, dates, honey or maple syrup instead of refined sugar, nut butters instead of dairy butter.
Using a combination of puffed cereal with rolled oats actually lightens up the granola bars by cutting down a little on the calories and carbs, since the puffed cereal are not as dense.
Are Homemade Granola Bars Healthy?
Just because they are homemade they may not be healthy if they use artificial ingredients or too many rich ingredients. Good health requires balance and moderation.
Tips and tricks for how to make the best granola bars
- Use about 3½ to 4 cups granola bar mixture for one 8″ x 8″ baking pan .
- You can change the ratios of oats to puffed cereal, or even replace nuts with some chocolate chips. You may cut out the puffed cereal and replace oats.
- Extra nut butter can help make firmer granola bars that hold together better.
- Toast the grains and nuts for 10 to 15 minutes at 350ºF to enhance flavor and texture.
- You may soften the dried fruit such as raisins and chopped apricots by soaking the dried fruit in hot water for 10 minutes. Be sure to drain the dried fruit well and pat dry with paper towels before using.
- You can store granola bars in airtight containers. They can also be frozen in food safe freezer bags.
- If egg whites and rose water are used, it gives a more chewy and softer granola bar. Skipping egg white and replacing rose water with vanilla flavor results in a more hard and firm texture.
- Vegan: Use maple syrup instead of honey. Skip egg whites.
- Gluten Free: Use gluten-free oats and puffed rice cereal
- Nut Free: Replace almond butter with sunbutter, and use sunflower or pumpkin seeds instead of almonds and pistachios.
- Other Options: Other nuts (hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, macadamia, cashews), seeds (pumpkin seeds, toasted sesame, sunflower seeds), coconut and/or chopped dried fruit (apricots, cranberries, raisins) may be used. May substitute ground cardamom or cinnamon for flavors.
Photography above: bijansviewfinder.com
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- 2 cups rolled oats gluten-free
- 1/3 cup almond chopped or slivered
- 1/2 cup almond butter creamy
- 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp olive oil light
- 1 egg white (optional)
- 1/2 tsp saffron ground or natural almond flavor
- 1 tbsp rose water or natural vanilla flavor
- 1/2 cup medjool dates (pitted and packed)
- 1 cup puffed cereal (kamut or rice)
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)
- 2 tbsp pistachios slivered
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the oats and chopped almonds on a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes.
- In a small saucepan gently heat the almond butter. Stir honey and oil into it.
When cooled, add egg white (if using) and stir. Then add ground saffron dissolved in rose water (if using).
- Process the medjool dates in a food processor and mix it well into the wet ingredients above.
- In a medium bowl, combine oats, almonds, puffed cereal and chia seeds with the honey-almond butter mixture. Stir until well combined.
- Transfer the mixture to a 8 x 8 inch pan lined with parchment paper. Spread the mixture evenly.
- Sprinkle slivered pistachios on the top and compact it well using the back of a wooden spoon.
- Lower the oven temperature to 300°F and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool completely before slicing the granola bars.
- Use about 3½ to 4 cups granola bar mixture for one 8" x 8" baking pan .
- You can change the ratios of oats to puffed cereal, or replace nuts with chocolate chips.
- Extra nut butter can help the granola bars hold together better.
- Toast the grains and nuts for 10 to 15 minutes at 350ºF for better flavor and texture.
- You may soften the dried fruit such as raisins and chopped apricots by soaking the dried fruit in hot water for 10 minutes.
- Drain the dried fruit well and pat dry before using.
- Check the full blog post above for more tips.