The granola bar has risen to lunch stardom in our house. We have a granola bar every day at work, and it’s the rock our lunch stands on. Typically, I carry a ½ cup greek yogurt with ½ cup Kashi Go Lean, 1 chopped carrot and 2 tbsp hummus. This is enough to get me through the 7 hour shift and home, whereupon I dive for the cereal when we walk through the door.
I toss in a granola bar into the pack as well, since it’s incredibly filling and delicious – it feels like you’re having a chewy cookie every day and nothing beats that!
When I first started making them, I followed this recipe very closely. Over the last few months, I’ve broken from that recipe and really experimented with my granola bars (you can find the other variations here and here).
Well, here’s another one. 😉
It’s different from even the last incarnation since it doesn’t include the egg, and I’ve reduced and swapped the sugars. Here’s the lowdown:
- Replaced 1 egg with 1 tbsp flax seed meal + 3 tbsp water (let sit for 2 minutes before adding)
Result: Texture and taste were the same as the bars with the egg. My mother added flax seed meal to the batter without letting it sit in the water and it came out really dry. I didn’t want that to happen, so I made sure to follow the directions on the bag and was happy to have these bars still be moist and delicious.
- Replaced 1 cup AP flour with rounded ½ cup whole wheat flour
Result: I lowered the amount of ww flour compared to the ap since I know that ww flour can be more dense and “drying” than ap flour. This turned out to be a great idea since the bars came out nicely moist and thick enough without drying out. Now these bars have a higher fiber content but they are lower in carbs since I used less of the flour. Win!
- Lowered the brown sugar splenda blend from ½ cup + 2 tbsp packed to ½ cup packed
Result: No noticeable difference. The sugars from the other ingredients compensated for the lower sugar and to be honest, I couldn’t tell that I had decreased it. Definitely going with this from now on.
- Changed the honey from ½ cup to ¼ cup honey + 1/8 cup maple syrup
Result: Again, no noticeable difference. The bar is still sweet, moist and dense. I think if I had paired these bars with the originals, we’d notice the differences more. I think the slow transition has helped us to adjust to the new bars, but to be honest, these bars are still sweet and nice.
- Added a few generous dashes of ground ginger
Result: I’m still working on this one. The last time I did this, I was very cautious since I wasn’t sure how noticeable it would be – turn out not very. This time around I added even more and I still couldn’t really tell. I think I will start measuring out quantities such as ¼ tsp or ½ tsp and see how that goes. Either that or my ground ginger spice has gone off and it’s not potent any more. That’s highly possible since I can’t even remember when I bought it!
- Mix-ins: I’ve gotten more creative here. I’ve added chopped dried pineapple, white chocolate chips, raisins, dried cherries, almonds, dark, milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips, roasted chestnuts, mini chocolate chips, and coconut. I really just look into my pantry and decide what sort of combination sounded good from what I had on hand. I plan to try some dried blueberries in the future and even some ginger.
So, without further ado, I present to you “Even Healthier Than The Last Batch” Granola bars! (I really need a catchy title) Any suggestions ❓
2 cups oats (I use quick cook)
½ cup wheat bran
½ cup whole wheat flour, heaping
dash of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup packed splenda brown sugar blend
2 generous dashes of ginger (or more . . . see notes above)
1 tbsp flax seed meal + 3 tbsp water (let sit 2 minutes before adding)
¼ cup honey + 1/8 cup maple syrup
1 small container of no sugar added applesauce (1/2 cup or 4 oz equivalent)
¼ cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla
1-2 cups of mix-ins (see notes above)
- Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350F.
- Mix together oats, bran, flour, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, and brown sugar.
- Add flax seed meal with water, honey, maple syrup, applesauce, oil, vanilla and stir.
- Stir in mix-ins.
- Press the batter into the pan and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
- Cool for 15 minutes, remove from pan, slice and let cool completely.