Chewy Superfood Granola Bars

Inquires concerning healthy snacks or foods to fill sweet-tooth cravings are among the most common questions I get asked. These granola bars fit the bill on both counts. They are a sweet treat you can feel good about eating, and they come together quickly and easily with the help of a food processor.

What’s the merit of making your own instead of buying them? First of all, you control what goes into them. Even brands that parade as healthy granola bars contain quite a few added preservatives, vague items like “natural flavors” (what does that even mean?), and chemicals added for the sake of texture. While these additives are supposedly safe for human consumption, my stance is: why ingest it if you don’t have to? Especially when it’s so easy to make your own! Secondly, thanks to the rising concern consumers have when it comes to food safety and quality, you can indeed find “clean” granola bars in stores. The problem: they cost a small fortune. It’s so much cheaper to make your own healthy snack food! Although, in light of that, I must add a disclaimer here: I made these with a bag of dried fruit mix that I found at Costco. You could make these even cheaper by buying a simple bag of dried fruit and mixing some plain nuts with it. But the sky is the limit with these bars, as you’ll see!

These granola bars consist of oats, a blend of dried fruit and seeds, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. A dark chocolate garnish and sprinkle of chia seeds graces the top.

First, add the oats to the food processor.

Process them on high until they resemble the following photo.

Next, add the dried fruit + seeds, maple syrup, and vanilla.

Process on high, stopping to scrape down the sides once, until the mixture is finely chopped and resembles a doughy texture.

Press the mixture into a loaf pan that is well greased (I also greased the back of a mini spatula for pressing it into the pan, as it’s quite sticky).

Bake at 325 degrees for 15-18 minutes, or until edges are just starting to darken and the top is no longer sticky when touched.

Flip the bars onto a cutting board to cool thoroughly; I popped mine into the freezer.

Break up the square of chocolate (or use chips) and melt them in a mug. I microwaved mine for two 25-second intervals, stirring well after each one.

Prop a sandwich baggie in a drinking glass and pour in the melted chocolate.

Cut a very small hole in the corner of the baggie and drizzle on the chocolate. Add any other desired garnishes, like chia seeds, right after you apply the chocolate.

Pop the bars back into the freezer to set the chocolate. After the chocolate has set, use a knife to cut the bars into 6 servings.

I keep these bars in the fridge so the chocolate stays hard and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes before eating it. You could probably keep them at room temperature, depending on the kind of chocolate you used, but I prefer avoiding a melty mess.

So, there you have it! Don’t have the superfood berry blend I used? Fear not! You can substitute any variety of dried fruit and nuts and/or seeds. I look forward to creating some other varieties myself! Don’t be afraid to get creative! Let me know what you try!

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