We are big granola bar eaters in this household. They really are the perfect grab and go snack. And prior to our first homemade batch, I would scout out the grocery stores for when our favourite brands were on sale.
But after seeing just how easy it was to make my own, no sales are needed to have a delicious and healthy on-the-go snack at my fingertips. And these babies are definitely my new favourite brand.
The best thing about making your own is adding in whatever your heart desires. I love loading them up with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Bananas and apple sauce serve as the flavour base and the best part? They come together in 10 minutes flat and can also be stored in your freezer.
I really liked the chewy texture, but if you find them a tad on the dry side, simply add some almond or peanut butter to the wet mixture. Give them a firm press in the pan to help make sure they stay together.
Out of one batch, you get 16 very good size granola bars. A much better deal than the six that comes in the store bought variety – even with a good sale! A perfect filling and tasty afternoon snack!
Banana Cranberry Granola Bars
Adapted from Prevention RD
- 3 1/2 Cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup pecans (chopped)
- 1/4 cup walnuts (chopped)
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 3 ripe bananas
- 2/3 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 3/4 cups dried cranberries
- 3/4 Tsp cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp ground flax seed
- 1/2 Tsp salt
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter ((optiona)l)
I personally like the granola bars without the peanut butter addition, but if you find them a bit on the dry side (which I like), feel free to add it in to the mix. They are also delicious with some peanut butter slathered on top!
||Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spread oats, chopped pecans, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in oven and bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. |
||In a medium bowl, mash bananas. Stir in apple sauce and peanut butter (if using) until combined. |
||Place the toasted oat and nut mixture in a large bowl and add in the dried cranberries, ground flax seed, cinnamon, and salt and stir until combined. |
||Stir the banana mixture into the oat mixture until well combined and starting to form clumps. |
||Meanwhile, prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment paper, letting the parchment paper overlap all sides by about 1 inch. |
||Transfer the oat mixture into the prepared baking dish and press down mixture evenly into pan. |
||Bake until the bars are golden and start to pull away from the sides of the baking dish, about 30 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes. |
||Using the parchment paper, lift bars from pan and let them completely cool to room temperature. Cut into 16 bars and store in airtight container or wrap individually and place in the freezer. |