It all began with a pressing need for a snack to go with my morning coffee. With a dodgy appetite post-sterioids this was a challenge. But thanks to my sister and a random email from someone enquiring about an old Honest Project recipe, my mind was cast back to a version of granola bars I used to make all the time when I first started the blog. I loved them so much, that I used to batch make them and bring them on holidays with me.
I searched back through the blog and couldn't find the recipe. I'm guessing that somewhere along the line, the recipe fell victim to one of my purges, probably due to some dodgy food photography skills rather than because of any fault to do with the recipe itself. How silly is that?! I remember the jist of the recipe so I've made it a few times over the last week and here it is making a triumphant return to the blog on this random March Monday. Food photography skills still questionable.
For me, a great granola bar should have plenty of nuts and seeds and not be too sweet. Satisfying enough to keep hunger at bay without giving you a sugar hit. When I started making my own bars it was because it was pretty impossible to buy store bought ones. Even now, with multiple brands on offer in most stores, it's still really hard to get granola bars that are more savoury than sweet. Lots of the store bought ones taste delcious, but are more mini-dessert than healthy snack. The beauty of these ganola bars is that they are sweetened and held together with ripe bananas and apple rather than sugar, honey or maple syrup. Of course if you want to sweeten them up, the recipe will take a few tablespoons of your sweetener of choice. You decide how sweet you want to go. This "decide for yourself" approach to how sweet you want your granola bars is the very reason I think makig your own (if you have the time) is a really good option. Trust me, your home baking efforts will be rewarded with delicious filling granola bars that are high in nuts and seeds and contain only as much sugar as you wish.
PS: A quick tip to save time is to bulk buy the nuts and seeds and pre mix them or just keep them all together in a basket in your cupboard to make grabbing the ingredients quick and handy. Also, they freeze really well so are ideal for batch cooking.
Scroll on for the recipe for my Nutty Seedy Bluberry Granola Bars.
Nutty Seedy Bluberry Granola Bars
75g pumpkin seeds
50g sunflower seeds
50g cashew nuts
25g flaked almonds
3 ripe bananas
2 medium size apples, peeled and grated
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5/190°C. Line a small baking dish with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the oats, nuts and seeds. Add a pinch of sea salt and mix well. In a food processor or blender mix the bananas, coconut oil and grated apple along with the vanilla extract. If you don't have access to a processor or blender, mash the banana well before combining with the grated apple, melted coconut oil and vanilla extract. Add the wet banana mixture to the dry oat, seed and nut mixture and mix well. Add the frozen blueberries and mix through. Tip into the lined baking dish and using a spatula, spread the mixture evenly and tightly into the dish.
Bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes or until golden brown on top and a tooth pick inserted into the granola comes out dry. Once fully cooked, remove from the oven and place the dish on a baking tray for 15 minutes. Then remove the granola from the dish in the parchment paper and place back on the wire tray to fully cool before cutting the granola into individual bars.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to two months.