One thing I haven't really gotten around to make very often is straight up granola bars, but after receiving a package for Valentine's Day from our church back home (two houses up from my childhood home) that included Chewy bars, I wanted to recreate something sort of like them but healthier. These fit that bill.
When I originally made these, I followed the recipe I found almost exactly, but they were way, way too sweet for my liking. I cut down the sugar, and they were much better. Sweetened with only honey, these are a perfect snack through the day. The puffed rice I use had pretty large pieces, so the bars were a bit harder to shape and cut with those, but they're still super tasty! If you want to make sure they're perfectly formed, you could use a crisp brown rice cereal - they're generally smaller.
These are perfect to grab when you're busy doing other things, and the chocolate gives it just enough of the feeling of a sweet treat to keep you satisfied. A bit of nut and crunch, and they're perfect. Feel free to swap out the chocolate chips for some sort of dried fruit to keep it totally healthy!
Now, today I'll be caking it up today for Easter dinner and trying to squeeze in lots of studying before the festivities begin! Hope you all have a great Easter if you celebrate!
Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
adapted from Beard + Bonnet
makes about 12 bars
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup oats
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup flax seeds
- 1/2 cup honey (I like to use raw)
- 4 T coconut oil (or butter)
- 1/2 t salt
- 2 t vanilla
- 2 cups puffed brown rice
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (or dried fruit)
Toast the walnuts, oats, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds at 350ºF on a baking sheet until lightly browned and fragrant, about 8 minutes (be sure to watch to make sure they don't burn). Allow to cool.
In a small saucepan, combine the honey, coconut oil, and salt, bringing it to a boil over medium heat. Continue heating until the color deepens to a caramel color, about five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Place the toasted walnuts, oats, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds in a large bowl, and pour the honey mixture over it. Stir until well coated, and then add in the puffed brown rice and chocolate chips. Stir until well mixed and coated.
Press the mixture into a parchment lined 8x8" pan. Allow to sit for about 2 hours, until firm (you can refrigerate to speed up this process). Cut into bars, and serve. Store in an airtight container.