|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 10g||13%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||11%|
|Total Carbohydrate 29g||10%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||12%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
The idea of making your own granola bars might seem daunting, but there's a lot of room for experimentation. You need to start with some grains—oats are traditional—and some nuts and seeds of your choice: pecans, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc. But for extra protein, try adding quinoa flakes to these for a boost of nutrition (quinoa contains all of the essential amino acids and is rich in iron).
Quinoa flakes are also perfect for adding to baked goods like bread and cookies, and you can usually find them at your local health food store or grocery.
- 2 cups regular oats
- 1 cup quinoa flakes
- 1/2 cup nuts and seeds of your choice
- 1/2 cup dried fruit (raisins, cherries, cranberries, etc.)
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- Optional: 3 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil. Lightly grease the foil with vegetable oil.
Place 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, maple syrup, peanut butter, and brown sugar in a microwave-proof bowl or measuring cup. Microwave gently on low heat for 30 seconds or so, or until ingredients can be whisked together easily. Whisk in the vanilla and the salt.
Mix the oats and quinoa flakes together in a bowl. Coarsely chop the nuts and dried fruit, and stir them into the oat mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Add the liquid mixture to the oat mixture and stir until the dry ingredients are well coated. The mixture should be sticky and should start to clump together. If it doesn't, and it seems dry and crumbly, add more maple syrup to achieve the desired consistency.
Press the mixture down firmly into a baking pan. Grease a small piece of aluminum foil and use it to compress the mixture down into the pan as smoothly and firmly as possible.
Place pan in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until grains appear toasted and smell fragrant. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Finish cooling pan in the refrigerator, and for best (least crumbly) results, wait until the mixture is well-chilled before cutting it into bars.