A few people have asked me to do some posts on healthy snacks for when they are on the go and options for healthy alternatives to scones or croissants for morning coffee time. For me, homemade granola bars are the perfect healthy snack and alternative to sugary and flour rich traditional scones and muffins. Store bought manufactured granola bars have long been paraded as health food. However, the truth is that most store bought granola bars are loaded with sugar and very often contain highly processed fats and oils. Marketing campaigns would have us believe that we are making a healthy choice by opting for a manufactured granola bar over other snacks. However, in order to see the true nutritional story, it is important to read the ingredient and nutritional list - and this doesn't always make for comfortable reading.
The good news is that homemade granola bars are so easy to make, freeze well and in my view are more delicious and far healthier than those you buy in the store. This recipe is sweetened from the bananas and fruit and I don't bother with maple syrup or honey. Nut and seed wise, I favour almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds making these bars good sources of plant based protein and healthy fats.
I always talk about the importance of being organised for sticking to a plant based diet - especially at the start of your transition. I often make a batch of these bars at the weekend for the week ahead. Each morning, you just grab one before leaving the house and away you go. You can't get much more organised than that.
3 ripe bananas
2 cups of oats
1/2 cup of walnuts
1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup of almonds
1/2 cup flaxseeds
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
2/3 cup of berries of your choice (I usually go for blueberries)
Salt to taste
Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees fahrenheit / gas mark 4.
Mash up the bananas in a bowl.
Place the oats in a food processor and blend for a few seconds so that they are coursely chopped and add to the bananas.
Place the walnuts and almonds in a food processor and blend for a few seconds so that they too are coursely chopped and add to the banana and oat mixture.
Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix together.
Prepare an oven proof dish by lining it with baking parchment.
Spoon the mixture into the dish and flaten it out to the corners and sides so that it is even.
Pop in the over for about 25-30 minutes until it is gold brown on top.
When it is done, allow it to cool before slicing into bar size slices.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze.