Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday's Food: Granola Bar Makeover

The bars make a great afternoon snack for the kiddos...and a pick me up for the grown ups!

Oats & dried cranberries

The boys are happy there's still chocolate chips in their bars! For a healthier bar, omit the chips. These are my boys' favorite bars, though...

Coconut and some cinnamon & nutmeg give more flavor!

I've decided to make Monday my official recipe day. The other days will focus on style and fashion.

My boys love granola bars, but have you checked out the ingredients list lately for the popular ones found in the grocery store? 

One often associates granola bars with a healthy treat, but most are anything but.

Not such a healthy treat! Here is the listing for Quaker's Chocolate Chip Granola Bars:

Ingredients: granola (whole grain rolled oats, rolled whole wheat, brown sugar, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil [soybean and/or cottonseed oil] dried coconut, whole wheat flour, honey), semisweet chocolate chips (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, soy lecithin [an emulsifier], vanilla flavor), corn syrup, crisp rice (rice, sugar, salt, barley malt), high fructose corn syrup, sugar, corn syrup solids, glycerin, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (soybean and/or cottonseed oil), sorbitol, salt, molasses, water, natural and artificial flavors, BHT (a preservative), citric acid. Contains wheat and soy ingredients. May contain traces of peanuts.

How many variations of high fructose corn syrup do they need? Do you see the BHT on the label? BHT is short for BUTYLATED HYDROXY TOLUENE, a carcinogen shown to affect the kidneys and liver.

I know I don't want my boys eating that stuff! I don't want it either.

Here is my recipe for a wholesome snack for your kids--and you! Agave nectar replaces sugar in this recipe. Again, for an even less sweet recipe, leave out the chocolate chips.


3/4 cup of chopped dry cranberries
1 cup of water

In a small saucepan, boil the cranberries and the water together for about 5 to 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 water.

3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1 T. pure vanilla extract
1/2 c. agave nectar
1/3 c. almond butter
1/2 c. chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli 70% cacao)

To make:

Mix the agave nectar, almond butter, and water together. Stir over low heat until combined. Pour this over your oats, seeds, coconut, vanilla and spices. Stire in chocolate chips until combined.

Press into a 13 by 9 glass pan.

Bake at 250 for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Cut into squares and cool.

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