I love rainy days. Today it is gray outside and there has been a fair amount of rain. S (my daughter) and I went on a walk earlier and got caught out in it. When we got back home, I sat in the garage and read a book while she played in the rain. It was so perfect!
We then came inside to have some lunch. Lunch today was a bit of a “splurge,” if you will. We had one of these awesome nutty granola bars, hot chocolate, and some apple sauce. Could it get any better?
My family and I really like granola bars. Before changing our diet for the better, the hubby and I used to pack a cheapo chocolate chip granola bar for our lunches every day. Not only were these unhealthy, full of corn syrup and lots of sugar and probably more processed grains than we should have been eating, but they weren’t really very filling either. Now, if we are going to eat granola bars, I like to make them from scratch, this way I know EXACTLY what is in them. These are also very filling!
They are chewy but they also have a really great large crunch and small crunch to them. Let me explain that comment. The large crunch is from the many different nuts in the granola bars, while the small crunch is from the little seeds such as the sesame seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds and the walnuts. I really love chewing each bite with all the different textures it has.
They are pretty easy to make as well. I just blended a few of the nuts in my food processor to break them down a bit, then mixed them in with the other ingredients. I then threw all of it into an 8×8 pan that I lined with some tinfoil and let that sit in my freezer for about an hour. Once it had firmed up, I pulled the pan out of the freezer and removed the granola using the tinfoil and cut them into bars. Afterwards, I placed them back in the pan and then put them into the refrigerator to store. Pretty simple ey?
- ½ cup almonds
- ¾ cup cashews
- ½ cup walnuts
- 1½ cup oats (not instant)
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- ½ cup flax meal
- ½ cup chocolate chips or raisins
- 1 /2 cup agave, or sticky sweetener of choice
- 1 cup natural peanut butter, or other nut butter of choice
- If your almonds, cashews and walnuts are whole, use a food processor to grind them up a bit so they are smaller pieces. For the almonds I blended them for 10 seconds. For the cashews, 5 seconds(mine were in halves) and my walnuts were already in small enough pieces that it wasn't necessary to grind them. I also chose to grind my chocolate chips for about 7 seconds so that I would have smaller pieces.
- Place all the nuts,oats, seeds and flaxmeal into a bowl and stir. Add your chocolate chips and stir. Add in the agave and mix again. Add in the peanut butter and mix one last time. Make sure that everything is evenly coated. Line an 8x8 baking dish (a 7x11 baking dish works too) with tinfoil or parchment paper (with the edges hanging over so you can remove it from the pan later) and place the granola ingredients into it. Press it all down firmly and evenly. Cover the pan and place it in your freezer for an hour to let it firm up, or in a refrigerator overnight. If you choose to do it in the freezer, remove it from the freezer once it is firm and store it in the refrigerator. Remove from the pan using the tinfoil/freezer paper and cut into squares.
This recipe was slightly adapted from vegan-heartland.com’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars.
As one last side note: Last week we got to go visit my parents and siblings in Kentucky! It was so fun seeing everyone. Somehow we didn’t get very many pictures though. Here is one from when we went to the zoo with my parents:
Anyway, like I mentioned before, we love granola bars, and these ones are really a home run for my family. Hope they are for you too!