That's all well and good, but having nut allergies doesn't just mean I have to avoid peanut butter. There are lots of things out there that are "made in a facility that also processes nuts" or "made on equipment that also processes nuts" and even "may contain peanuts or tree nuts." All which, must be avoided at all costs unless I want a trip to the ER and the possibility of losing my ability to breathe. So I, and Sir Lancelot, have become very strict about reading labels. A lot more companies are putting allergy warnings on their labels which is awesome, but seeing the warning that the product "may" contain nuts is disheartening. My selection of "healthier" snacks (and I'm talking about granola bars) becomes slim to none. Even if there are no nuts of any kind in the actual granola bar itself, there is that horrible warning. Plus, there are usually a few ingredients that you can't pronounce. And if I can't pronounce it, I don't want to eat it.
I got to thinking that since I am trying to simplify my life (and that includes the things that I eat), why not try to make my own granola bars. That way, I would now exactly what went into them and I could control sweetness, etc. Pinterest to the rescue! I found an easy recipe (no baking) that I doubled and tweaked to my liking. I whipped up a batch of these today, and I want to eat the whole pan they are so yummy! So I am sharing with you . . .
No-Bake Granola Bars
- 1/2 cup coconut oil (you could also use real butter)
- 1 cup raw honey
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not the quick cooking kind)
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed
- 4 tsp natural peanut butter (I used soynut butter)
- mini chocolate chips (optional)
- dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, cherries) - optional
Over medium heat, melt coconut oil and honey. Stir to combine. Heat until bubbly, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture is bubbly, let it continue cooking for 30 seconds to 1 minute more. Be careful not to let it go too long or you will be making candy.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Add the rolled oats, sunflower seeds and ground flax seed. Stir to coat.
Line a 13x9 pan with parchment paper, leaving extra paper to hang over the edges. Spoon out oat mixture into pan and press. Add the chocolate chips and/or dried fruit to the top and press into the mixture. Place in refrigerator to cool for 30 minutes.
Once cool, use parchment paper to lift it out of the pan. Cut into bars or squares. Enjoy!
I love how I can control exactly what goes into these. They are simply delicious and even Sir Lancelot loves them! Oh, gotta run . . . the oven is beeping so the bread is ready to come out!