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Homemade Organic Granola bar

The new year has arrived and with it come new hopes and big goals. Health is a big one for many, including losing weight, eating healthier and becoming more active.

High protein, low sugar, dairy free, gluten free granola bar
Paula Thomas

It can be a daunting task of looking for the right items to eat, specially in our modern day food chain where the products sold in stores are high in artificial ingredients, GMO's, full of sugars and sodium and low in nutritional value.

Finding good snacks shouldn't be that hard, and in the search for a better on-the-go snack I resourced to making my own.

The nearby grocery store proved to have all the necessary ingredients to create just the right bar. Amarath, an ancient grain packed with protein and fiber; wheat germ, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin (Pepita) seeds, rolled oats, agave nectar and tahini or sesame paste. All organic, clean ingredients blended together to create a chewy and crunchy alternative to the bag of potato chips conveniently located in any store or gas station.

The following recipe makes approximately 18 bars (2x2 inches) and the nutritional value of each is as follow:

1 bar= 205 calories, 9g protein, 4g fiber, 22g carbs, 10g sugar, 11g fat, 21mg sodium, 10mg cholesterol.

Organic Granola bars

2/3 c organic agave nectar (from wholesome sweeteners)

3 tbsp unsalted Tahini (sesame paste) - Look for Woodstock (NON-GMO certified)

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 c Organic Rolled oats

1/2 c raw Wheat Germ (Bob's Red Mill)

2 c organic whole almonds

1 c organic Pepita (pumpkin seeds)

3/4 c organic Sunflower seeds

1/4 c organic Amarath (Bob's Red Mill)

In a pot with a lid toast the amarath for a few minutes to allow the grain to pop.

Toast the oats, wheat germ, almonds, pepita and sunflower seeds in a 350 oven for 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare a sheet pan with foil, no need to butter or oil.

Warm up the agave and tahini until fully blended, add vanilla.

In a big bowl mix all the dry ingredients and pour the agave mixture, blend thoroughly. Pour onto the prepared sheet pan using oiled hands (it is a bit sticky) and flatten as even as possible, it won't cover the entire sheet pan, rather work to get a taller, shorter bar instead of spreading it too thin.

Bake for 10-12 minutes in a 350F oven. Let cool completely before cutting them (I know it's hard!)

Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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