Halloween is approaching, so it’s time to scare you a bit…
Here is a list of the ingredients that make up one Quaker Oats Granola Bar:
GRANOLA (WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, BROWNSUGAR, CRISP RICE [RICE FLOUR, SUGAR, SALT, MALTED BARLEY EXTRACT],WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED WHEAT, SOYBEAN OIL, DRIED COCONUT, WHOLE WHEATFLOUR, SODIUM BICARBONATE, SOY LECITHIN, CARAMEL COLOR, NONFAT DRYMILK), SEMISWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS (SUGAR, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, COCOABUTTER, SOY LECITHIN, VANILLA EXTRACT), CORN SYRUP, BROWN RICE CRISP(WHOLE GRAIN BROWN RICE, SUGAR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, SALT), INVERTSUGAR, SUGAR, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, GLYCERIN, SOYBEAN OIL. CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF SORBITOL,CALCIUM CARBONATE, SALT, WATER, SOY LECITHIN, MOLASSES, NATURAL ANDARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, BHT (PRESERVATIVE), CITRIC ACID.
This 100-calorie granola bar contains 7 grams of added refined sugar, and offers only 1 measly gram of protein. And the sugar-packed products don’t end there. You start looking at the labels of “health bars” like Clif Bars, Pro Bars, etc., and you’ll find a whopping 20 + grams of sugar in ONE serving!
With that being said, granola bars are great. When you’re in a hurry, running out the door or need a quick pick-me-up, nothing beats the ease of grabbing a granola bar and eating it on-the-go. However, store bought granola bars are packed with artificial ingredients, added sugar and unhealthy preservatives. Blah, blah, blah, you’ve heard it all before right?
But, there’s a simple solution to this problem…
Make your own.
Homemade granola bars are incredibly easy to make. They require just a few ingredients, and they are SO much better for you than store bought. The best part about making your own at home is that they’re completely customizable to your taste. Start with the base of oats and dates, and add any type of nut, seed, nut butter, sweetener and dried fruit you want! I’ve made these granola bars with almond butter, pistachios, walnuts, pecans…get creative here!
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup almonds, chopped
- 1 cup peanuts, chopped
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 16-20 Medjool dates, pitted
- 2 Tbsp. water or coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp. honey or other sweetener (optional, but it helps to hold the bars together.)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Pour the oats and chopped almonds on a baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes, until the oats are golden brown and you can begin to smell the almonds roasting. *Be careful to not let them burn!
- While the oats are roasting, heat a saucepan and add the uncooked quinoa. Cook while stirring continually until the quinoa is toasted a light-brown color, 3-5 minutes.
- (*These first three steps are optional, but do add a nice roasted flavor.)
- In a food processor or powerful blender, mix the peanut butter, dates and honey until a thick paste forms.
- In a large bowl, add all the ingredients. Using your hands, mix until the ingredients form together in a paste. If it's not sticking together, add more honey. It may be slightly crumbly.
- Cover a baking sheet with tin-foil or plastic wrap and spread the paste onto it, pressing it until evenly spread.
- Freeze for at least 2 hours to harden.
- Cut into individual pieces and store in an air-tight container in the freezer or fridge.
*I like to wrap these individually so they're easy to grab on-the-go.
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