I love these granola bars! They are packed with healthy ingredients with a contrast of flavours & textures to keep you munching & sustained for the day. You have crunch from nuts, chewiness from dried cranberries & oats, with depth of flavour coming from sugar-free Pulsin’ dark chocolate chips, nut butter & maca powder.
Maca powder? This is also known as Peruvian Ginseng. It is an ancient Incan superfood crammed with essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids & phytonutrients & so has many benefits.
Maca helps to regulate, support & balance hormonal systems & so is good to balance mood (including stress, anxiety & depression, menstrual issues) & to boost energy levels. It is reputed to good for sexual health, improving libido & fertility in both men & women. It also helps give you radiant glowing skin.
To add to the nutritive profile of these bars, I have added chia seeds, ground flaxseed & vegetarian whey protein crispies too. If you want to keep these granola bars kept vegan, omit these crispies & substitute for rice crispies, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, or desiccated coconut.
I have stopped buying shop-bought granola bars years ago due to the high sugar content (& to be honest, these taste much better!). These granola bars contain a modest amount on non-refined sugar; you can choose between honey, a vegan sweetener like agave or date syrup, coconut sugar or chopped dates.
These bars can be made in a jiffy (approx 12 mins preparation time & 25 min baking time) & the recipe is very simple (a case of mixing together dry & wet ingredients-as detailed below & baking!).
They also freeze well & are really portable, making them convenient healthy snacks; super for grab & go breakfast bars, for lunchboxes, picnics & as pre-work out bars. Give them a go & let me know how you get on!
Preparation time: 12 mins
Makes: 12 hefty bars
Baking time: 25 mins
140g Quick-cook rolled oats (*gluten-free oats can be used)
85g Mixed nuts of choice (I use walnuts, almonds but pistachios, cashews, brazils & pecans also work well), roughly chopped
40g (1/4 cup) Chia seeds
40g (1/4 cup) Ground flaxseed
45g (1/4 cup) Coconut sugar or chopped dried dates
40g (1/4 cup) Dried cranberries
40g (1/4 cup) Sugar-free Pulsin’ dark chocolate chips
30g Pulsin’ whey protein crispies or vegan substitutes: rice crispies, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, or desiccated coconut work well
2 tsp Maca powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon (omit if you are not keen on cinnamon, but this adds a lovely warmth to the bars)
60g (1/4 full cup) nut butter of choice; peanut butter, almond & cashew butter work well
50g (1/4 cup) Honey or vegan substitute, like agave
Grease & line a baking tray measuring approx. 6 X 10″ with greaseproof paper & spray coconut oil. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: oats, chopped nuts, chia, ground flaxseed, coconut sugar/ chopped dates, dried cranberries, chocolate chips, whey protein crispies (or substitute), maca powder, salt & cinnamon (if using).
Mix together the wet ingredients with the dry.
Pour into the prepared baking tin & level using a spatula. Bake for 25 mins until golden brown.
Wait until completely cool (I like chilling mine in the fridge for an hour or so) before cutting into bars. Enjoy!
You can find my favourite recipes in my FREE eBook here.