Happy New Year! With a new year comes many aspirations.
Let’s be healthy, stay active… and bake your own treats :) :)
I was reading the blog of a healthy/runner/fitness guru. She posted a granola bar recipe that looked delish and I wanted to give it a try.
Great for breakfast, snack, or to fuel up before your run or workout.
Bananas + Almonds + Dried Fruit = Energy
Lately I’ve been into making granola bars. Just so dang easy and kind of fun! You just mix up everything with a spoon and press it in a pan. Done and done. See? Easy!
And granola bars are super nutritious (if you make them the right way). By using mashed bananas and applesauce you achieve the same chewyness without using butters and oils. And you can’t tell a difference. Win.
With these, I added a little honey for sweetness. You know we all need a little, right?
Low Fat Granola Bars with Bananas and Cranberries
Adapted from Cookincanuck.com (Makes about 30 bars)
- 3 ½ cup oats (old-fashioned or instant)
- ¾ cup roughly chopped pecans and almonds
- 2-3 large, ripe bananas
- 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg (or freshly grated)
- 2 tbsp ground flax seed (or flax meal)
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tablespoons honey
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a 9- by 13-inch baking sheet with parchment paper, with about 1 inch of parchment paper overlapping the sides.
- Spread out oats and chopped nuts on a baking sheet. Place in the oven until they are lightly toasted, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with the back of a fork. Stir in applesauce until combined.
- Transfer the oats and nuts to a large bowl and stir in dried cranberries, ground flax, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- Stir the banana mixture into the oat mixture until well combined and starting to clump together. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and press down evenly.
- Bake until the bars are golden brown and starting to separate from sides of the pan, about 30 minutes. Let cool for about 15 minutes.
- Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan.
- Let cool to room temperature and then cut into bars. Serve or store in an airtight container.
TIPS: I like to individually wrap the bars in plastic wrap and store in the freezer so they last longer and you can enjoy them whenever you feel like it. Or you can store them at room temperature. Or, of course, you can share them with others :)
Added Bonus: As they bake they smell soooooo good.