The problem with store bought granola bars, is that even the “healthy” ones tend to have a lot of ingredients that are bad for you.
High-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, vegetable oil, corn syrup. Not to mention all the artificial flavors, colors, and a whole list of scientific sounding ingredients.
Example. Here is the list of ingredients for the Special K Bar – Chocolatey Pretzel:
CEREAL (RICE, SUGAR, WHOLE GRAIN WHEAT, WHEAT GLUTEN, DEFATTED WHEAT GERM, SALT, WHEAT FLOUR, MALT FLAVORING, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, MALTODEXTRIN, THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], NIACINAMIDE, RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], REDUCED IRON, FOLIC ACID), SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, SUGAR, PRETZEL PIECES (ENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR [FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE (VITAMIN B1), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), FOLIC ACID], MALT FLAVORING, SALT, SOYBEAN OIL, YEAST), VEGETABLE OIL (HYDROGENATED AND/OR PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED PALM KERNEL, PALM AND/OR COCONUT OIL, SUNFLOWER OIL WITH TOCOPHEROLS FOR FRESHNESS)†, FRUCTOSE, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, CONTAINS TWO PERCENT OR LESS OF COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, SORBITOL, GLYCERIN, WHEY, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL CHOCOLATE CREAM FLAVOR, SALT, SOY LECITHIN, CARAMEL COLOR, MALTODEXTRIN, POLYSORBATE 60, SORBITAN MONOSTEARATE, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, NIACINAMIDE, SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, ALMOND FLOUR, PARTIALLY DEFATTED PEANUT FLOUR, BHT (PRESERVATIVE), PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6).
Does anyone know what polysorbate 60 and niacinamide are? My spell check doesn’t even recognize these as actual words.
Before you buy a food product and get drawn into healthy proclamations on the cover of the box (Now with fiber! Mineral D Added! A source of whole grains! LOW FAT! LOW CARB!! ZERO CALORIES!!!), I would simply say, turn the box over and…
read the ingredients.
My philosophy: If you don’t know what the ingredients listed are, don’t buy it. Also, if the product contains a huge number of ingredients (such as the above example), don’t buy it. It’s as easy as that.
Back to granola bars, they’re delicious right? I mean, who doesn’t like granola bars? If they’re made with healthy, natural ingredients, they can be a great snack when you need a boost of energy. Now, regardless of the ingredients, they’re not something you’re going to want to eat every day, but they’re a nice treat occasionally. Especially post work-out, playing sports, etc.
I really wanted to try out a healthy, but easy granola bar recipe, and I finally found one that fit the bill!
This recipe is from Heavenly Homemakers. It’s a great food/family blog if you haven’t seen it before. I love the recipes!
These granola bars are not crispy like some, but chewy and delicious. And did I mention there’s no baking involved?
This recipe makes about 8 bars, but it depends on what size you cut the bars into.
Homemade Granola Bars
- 1/2 c. peanut butter
- 1/3 c. honey
- 1/4 c. coconut oil (or any other oil, but seriously, the coconut oil in this gives it awesome flavor)
- 1 c. oats
- 1 c. mixture of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc. of your choice (use whatever mixture you want, but it should be a total of 1 cup)
- Add peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil to a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir mixture until it melts and is evenly mixed.
- Remove from heat and add oats and 1 c. mixture of add-ins, and mix well.
- Pour mixture into a square pan lined with parchment paper, and spread evenly. Refrigerate for 1 – 2 hours.
- Using a pizza cutter, cut into bars. Wrap individual bars with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze until needed.