This recipe is one of my favorites to whip together for back-to-school season. Granola bars are a great, healthy snack when you are on the go, or even crumbled on top of ice cream for dessert!
It can be hard to find a snack that is easy, delicious, and keeps you full until your next meal. Store bought granola bars can be convenient and delicious, but the ingredient list varies so widely (we're looking at you - high fructose corn syrup!). Sometimes it's nice to know exactly what is in your afternoon snack... enter: Chocolate Raisin Oat Bars!
This eight-ingredient recipe is packed full of nutrients such as carbohydrates, fiber, protein, iron, healthy fats, and omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. These bars also do not contain any added refined sugars or preservatives.
You can add or remove ingredients based on what you love (or, what your kids love... raisins are sometimes a hit or miss, lol!). This recipe has only eight ingredients, but the base of the granola bar only requires three - oats, peanut butter, and maple syrup! The rest of the ingredients are optional, and so much more can be added to customize based on your liking. Some of my favorite things to add are nuts such as almonds or walnuts, which add some healthy fats, fiber, and protein. You can also add some cocoa powder to make chocolatey-oat bars. Adding seeds such as sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds would also be a great addition to these oat bars. Nuts and seeds add magnesium (which helps nerve and muscle function) and dietary fiber (which helps keep your gut healthy).
To make this granola bar recipe nut-free and safe for schools and allergies, replace the 1 cup of peanut butter with 1 cup of pumpkin seed butter. Voila!
Now let's get into the fun part...
Here’s what you'll need:
3 cups of dry large flake or quick oats
1 cup of natural peanut butter
1 cup of maple syrup
⅓ cup cacao nibs or chocolate chips
½ cup raisins (or any dried fruit such as cranberries)
¼ cup hemp hearts
¼ cup chia seeds
¼ cup coconut shreds
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 oven-safe dish with parchment paper and set it aside.
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a spoon or spatula until well combined.
Scoop and firmly press the mixture into the pan, ensuring it is flat.
Bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes or until a light golden brown colour.
Remove from the oven, let cool, slice, and enjoy!
These oat bars can last for up to two weeks in an airtight container or frozen for up to three months. Enjoy!!!