I am pretty sure it is against the law to go hiking without carrying at least one granola bar in your pack or pocket. Being the law-abiding citizen that I am, I carry several. Ha.
I make my own bars for several reasons. The most important is allergens. My family is cursed with food allergies. If we all had to avoid the same allergens, eating together would be so much easier. But, alas, that is not the case. Making my own bars ensures that this snack is safe for my grandchildren, my adult daughters and me.
The second reason is that I am a vegetarian, therefore I sneak plant-based proteins into all of my meals. This granola bar recipe includes protein from almonds, chia and flax seeds.
Reason number three: I try to be environmentally conscious. Eating store-bought individually wrapped bars means there is more trash ending up in a landfill. When I make my own, I store the bars in reusable, easy to carry containers. I divide each batch into snack sized “baggies” and freeze.
I use the silicone bar pan from Pampered Chef to bake my granola, but you can use an 8″x 8″ square pan as an alternative or other bar pan brand found on Amazon.
Try substitutions to create variety.
Substitute peanut butter and dried cranberries to create PBJ Flavor.
Substitute Nutella and mini chocolate chips for the almond butter and raisins for a decadent chocolate option.
Substitute diced dried apricots for the raisins for a refreshingly fruity bar.
Benefits of Chia and Flax Seeds
Both Chia and Flax seeds are good sources of the essential nutrients, omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Essential nutrients are important for good health. You must obtain them from the foods you eat since the body cannot produce them. Omega fatty acids are found in fish. Vegetarians must rely on plant based sources such as chia and flax. Chia seeds are a complete protein (contain all 9 essential amino acids).
Almond Raisin Granola Bars
- 2 cups Rolled oats
- 1 teas Cinnamon
- 2 tbsp Chia seeds
- 2 tbsp Flax seed ground
- ¼ cup Almond butter natural
- ⅓ cup Maple syrup natural
- 1 teas vanilla pure
- ¼ cup Water
- ⅓ cup Raisins organic
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl: oats, cinnamon, chia seeds and ground flax.
- Place the raisins and water into a small bowl and set aside.
- Soften the almond butter in a microwave safe bowl for about 30 seconds
- Add the syrup and vanilla to the melted almond butter and whisk until well blended.
- Pour the water and raisins into the dry ingredients and stir well.
- Dump the butter, syrup, vanilla mixture into the dry/raisin mixture and stir until the oats are well coated.
- Pour the granola mixture into the spaces of the bar pan or into a square baking pan. Tamp down to pack the granola as much as possible.
- For bar pan: bake for 15 minutes until slightly brown but still pliable. Remove from oven to cool.
- For square pan: bake for 15 minutes, remove and score the batter for bars. Return to the oven for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven to cool.
- Package the bars into a large container or several snack sizes reusable baggies.
- Substitute peanut butter and dried cranberries to create PBJ Flavor
- Substitute Nutella and mini chocolate chips for the almond butter and raisins for a decadent chocolate option.
- Substitute diced dried apricots for the raisins for a refreshingly fruity bar.