No Sugar Added Fruit and Nut Granola Bars
Since we have been back, it has been non-stop action. We went to a gorgeous wedding in the mountains and have been visiting with family around the clock. Having so much to do and so many people to visit has definitely made the transition back to real life easier. It has been so wonderful to catch up with family and get to hang out with them all, especially my sister. I have not seen her since she came to visit us in Portugal in January and it has been so fun having her in town from D.C.
After watching one of my cousins down six Capri Suns and more cupcakes than he could count at the wedding, my sister (who is a nurse) and I started talking about sugar consumption and just how prevalent and dangerous it can be. She mentioned that she feels like she eats too much sugar as well, especially from granola bars. As a nurse, she rarely gets breaks and when she does she needs something quick and easy to eat and turns to granola bars on a regular basis. The problem with most granola bars is that they are loaded with added sugar. We began experimenting with refrigerator granola bars that were easy to make, tasty and that were not packed with sugar. These bars are sweet, loaded with fruit, nuts and whole grains and packed with fiber and protein. They get their sweetness from dried fruit which adds natural sugar plus loads of disease fighting antioxidants and fiber. The oatmeal adds the uber-important soluble fiber which helps feed the good bacteria in the gut and reduce cholesterol. Plus, they are super tasty and filling- they will definitely help keep your stomach from rumbling for hours.
- ½ cup Dried Plums
- ½ cup No Added Sugar Dried Fruit of Choice (I used raisins and golden raisins)
- 1 TBSP Coconut Oil, microwaved until liquefied, about 15 seconds
- 3 TBSP Natural Peanut Butter
- 3 TBSP Hot Water
- 1 cup Oats
- 1 cup Cereal of Choice (I used Life cereal)
- ½ cup Mixed Nuts, lightly crushed
- 1 TBSP Cacao Nibs (optional)
- Line a 8x8 pan with parchment paper. Reserve a second piece of parchment paper to use on top
- In a large bowl, combine oats, cereal, cacaco nibs and nuts. Mix well.
- In a food processor, combine dried fruit, coconut oil, peanut butter and hot water. Puree until smooth.
- Pour pureed fruit mixture into cereal mixture and mix well.
- Pour into parchment lined pan and press down until mixture is uniform in thickness. Press down quite hard, using a heavy can or bottle to really flatten the mixture. The harder you press down, the better the bar will stay together.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Cut into bars and leave in fridge.