Sometimes I hate reading the ingredient listing on a box of granola bars.
A lot of granola bar recipes out these contain a lot of added sugar.
No Sugar Added Homemade Granola Bars
There is so much to enjoy in a granola bar. Granola bars are probably the healthiest candy bar ever made.
I love that just about everything that I put into a granola bar has some kind of benefit to the body.
I am not sure why there needs to be a lot of sugar added to a granola bar to make it taste good. I think that there are so many wonderful flavors from the ingredients themselves that sugar just seems to take away from that. But, sugar can help to sell things and I suspect that this may be one of those things/
What goes into a granola bar anyway?
The average granola bar has about four of the same kinds of ingredients. Granola bars are known for their oats, nuts, fruits, and then something that binds them all together. The nuts, fruit, and binding ingredients vary among the bars.
I like to use what I already have rather than run out and buy some new ingredients. I always have different kinds of nuts in my pantry. Nuts are a favorite food in my house and we never run out of them.
I like to use honey to bind my ingredients together.
Honey is a natural sweetened that also binds. The good news about honey is that there are many experts out these citing the benefits of it.
There are sugar free honey products out there but, they tend to lack the benefits as these product are not made from bees. I do use them occasionally- even in my granola. Agave is another viable alternative as well.
I also like to add a bit of coconut palm sugar.
I use this instead of brown sugar. Coconut palm sugar has less of an impact on blood sugar. Some folks can be sensitive to this and if you are one of those people, by all means, skip it or use something else instead.
Granola bars are the perfect snack or meal on the go for about anyone.
We pack them in lunchboxes, keep them in our desks, and bring them along with us when we are heading on the road. I like to bring granola bars with me when I travel. You never know when you may be stranded somewhere and looking for something healthy to snack on.
The recipe for healthy granola bars
- Old fashion rolled oats- 2 cups
- Nuts- 1 1/2 cups total. You can use, for example any or a combination of the following: peanuts, sunflower seeds,or almonds.
- Wheat germ (can use flax seed instead) 1/2 cup
- Honey- 1/2 cup (can use one of the alternatives stated above)
- Brown sugar alternative, such as coconut palm sugar, 1/4 cup
- Butter or alternative such as coconut oil- 3 tablespoons plus additional for pan.
- Vanilla extract- 2 teaspoons
- Salt 1/4 tsp- can omit if using salted nuts
- Dried fruit- such as raisins or dried berries- 2/3 cup
How to make these granola bars.
- Pre-treat a jelly roll pan or glass baking dish for nonstick using butter. Preheat your oven to 300.
- Place your nuts, oats, and wheat germ on a separate sheet pan in the oven to toast for 10-12 minutes, be sure to stir as needed keeping the ingredients flat on the pan.
- While toasting your items in the oven, over medium heat in a medium saucepan, melt your butter, Add your honey, brown sugar,vanilla, and salt and continue to cook,stirring as you go, until all of the items have blended together. Remove from stove.
- Remove the nuts and other items from the oven,if you have not already done so, and stir this mixture into your items that were on the stove.
- Stir in your dried fruit.
- Press the mixture into your pre-treated pan from the first step, spreading the mixture evenly.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes and remove before it turns brown.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool and then cut into bars.