RECIPE: Best Ever Granola Bars

Who doesn’t love a deliciously oaty, seedy granola bar? No-one! Ok well maybe they’re not up some people’s street but that doesn’t sounds quite as good in a paragraph now does it…..

Anyway so why have I bothered to come up with a recipe for my own if there are plenty of variations already available? A great question and I’m glad you asked 😉

My bugbear with all the many (many!) recipes I’ve ever read is that they contain either huge amounts of maple syrup/honey/agave or have instead exchanged these for equally large quantities of dried fruits like dates or figs. Now I am not holding my hands up and saying we should never eat these things but it does irritate me when they are classed as healthy because they still have a blood sugar perturbing effect. 

So how have I got around this? Well I have absolutely maxed out on the seeds and oats so the protein and fibre content balances the small amount of carefully considered dried fruit I’ve chosen to include. By opting for tart cherries and blueberries over the more classic choices like the ones I mentioned previously or raisins etc not only do you massively decrease the sugar content but they also have additional benefits – tart cherries are a dietary source of melatonin to aid restful sleep and blueberries are packed to the rafters with antioxidants.

So I’m not quite saying sugar is the devil (or am I….) but if you are going to go sweet make your choices smart and opt for naturally sweet fresh fruit as your main sweetener over refined syrups which really aren’t that great for us at all 😀

Makes 15-20 bars depending on thickness

  • 240g rolled oats
  • 175g pumpkin seeds
  • 175g sunflower seeds
  • 100g poppy seeds
  • 100g flaxseed
  • 3 tablespoons chia seed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 100g soft eating dates
  • 400g apples (weighed once you have removed the core)
  • 100g dried tart cherries *
  • 100g dried blueberries *
  • 150ml boiling water

*it is always best to opt for organic dried fruit and check they are also un-sulphured and free from extra oils sometimes used to prevent them sticking together.

  1. Preheat your oven to 190°C, grease and line a brownie tin with baking parchment.
  2. Place the dates into a small saucepan, pour over the boiling water then cover with a lid and leave to gently simmer for 8-10 minutes to soften.
  3. Meanwhile wash and quarter the apples, remove their cores then weight out 400g. Place them in a high speed blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Leave to one side.
  4. In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, all the seeds, cinnamon and dried fruit, mix well.
  5. Once the dates have softened add to the apple and re-blend until smooth once more. Pour over the dry ingredients and fold together until completely incorporated.
  6. Transfer to your lined tin and use a spatula to smooth, pressing down firmly.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes until firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then lift out and leave to cool for a further 30 minutes on a wire rack. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut into squares.
  8. They will keep fresh in an airtight container for 5-6 days or alternatively can be frozen for up to 3 months.

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