They either didn’t stick together into bars, which defeats the whole idea of a granola bar for on-the-go. Or the contained more sugar, honey, maple syrup, or agave that they may as well have been a cookie. Or frankly, they tasted…bad.
First, they were bars. And they stayed that way. No crumbling. No scraping them from the bottom of a 9×13.
Second, they’re healthy. Not “healthy”, but really and truly healthy. They are naturally sweetened with banana and unsweetened applesauce. That’s it. No sugar, even natural sweeteners. They come in at 157 calories and nearly 4 grams of fiber a piece. They have healthy fats from the nuts and vitamin and mineral-rich fruit from banana, apple, and cranberries.
Lastly, and most importantly, they taste awesome.
These are also great to add to a simple breakfast of yogurt or fruit for something quick and easy. As much as us grown-ups will enjoy these, they won’t last long with kids around, either!
Low-Fat Granola Bars with Bananas, Cranberries & Pecans from Cookin Canuck
3 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
3 large, ripe bananas
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp ground flax seed (or flax meal)
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Line a 9- by 13-inch baking sheet with parchment paper, with about 1 inch of parchment paper overlapping the sides.
Spread out the oats and chopped pecans on a baking sheet. Place in the oven until they are lightly toasted, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with the back of a fork. Stir in applesauce until combined.
Transfer the oats and pecans to a large bowl and stir in dried cranberries, ground flax seed (flax meal), cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
Stir the banana mixture into the oat mixture until well combined and starting to clump together. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and press down evenly.
Bake until the bars are golden brown and starting to separate from sides of the pan, about 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan. Let cool to room temperature, then cut into 15 bars. Serve or store in an airtight container. Yield: 15 granola bars.
Nutrition Information (per serving): 157 calories; 5.9 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 79 mg. sodium; 24.5 g. carbohydrate; 3.8 g. fiber; 3.3 g. protein
Result: Sweet, dense, filling. These are hands down the best granola bars I’ve made. They come together in just a few minutes and keep well in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Enjoy!
I stayed up too late watching the Illinois vs. Ohio State game…*yawn*