Healthy Granola Bars, extra protein!

I’ve said this a million times, but I am a serial-snacker. I need to be able to reach out and grab something no matter where I am, and luckily I always can. I have a lot of recipes for healthy snack as you can see here. I love love bars. They are so perfect for any occasion. To take to work, or to take from the kitchen down the corridor to your home office, like in my case or to give to the kids to take to school. Or even after a gym session.

They are loaded with fibre, healthy fats (hello omega-3) and of course oats! Oats are a true power house and one of the healthiest grains around. Oats are also loaded with important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And even contain protein.

The wonderful thing about these bars is that they don’t fall apart, like most healthy bars. And bars that do stick together are usually loaded with sugar (used as glue). The trick here is the egg, it’s perfect and also adds more nutrition. I prefer to use dark chocolate because it contains less sugar, but you can use chocolate chips if you prefer. Also change up fruit and nuts as you please. All of that doesn’t matter and is according to taste. I love apricots because they contain a lot of potassium.

To make this vegan, simply replace egg with a chia egg or flax egg by using one tablespoon of seeds plus three tablespoons water. Let it sit for 10 minutes before mixing in with the rest of the ingredients.



INGREDIENTS:

• 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
• 1 cup oat flour
• ¼ cup protein powder, I use rice protein
• ¼ cup melted coconut oil
• 1/4 cup almond butter
• 1/3 cup rice syrup, or maple syrup
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 3/4 cup roughly chopped pecans or nuts of choice.
• 1/4 cup sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds
• 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
• ¼ cup chopped dried apricots, and/or raisins
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 2 x 1/4 cup chopped 78% dark chocolate
• 1 large egg
• 1 – 2 tbsp. water



INSTRUCTIONS:

Pre heat oven to 350 F / 180 C.

Start by making your own oat flour by blending oats in a food processor.

Then in a large non-stick frying pan, toast the nuts gently for a few minutes. Then add the seeds as well and toast for another minute or two. Transfer to a plate to cool.
In a large bowl mix oats, oat flour and protein powder. Stir to combine.

In a small saucepan, gently heat coconut oil, almond butter and rice syrup until soft and combined, add the vanilla and mix. Remove from heat and let cool.

Add the cooled nuts, seeds, coconut flakes, apricots/raisins together with the salt to the bowl with the oats in it. Stir to combine. Also add a quarter cup chopped chocolate and stir through.

Now beat the egg in a small bowl and add to the dry ingredients together with the cooled oil and syrup mixture. Stir to combine.
Once combined well, pick up a small mount and squeeze together in the palm of your hand. If it sticks together well, it’s ready to bake. Otherwise add a tablespoon of water and combine again.

Now place the mixture in a baking tin lined with parchment paper and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting into bars. I prefer to let the tin sit in the fridge overnight before cutting.
In a small heat proof bowl microwave the remaining quarter cup chocolate at 10 second intervals until melted. Cut the bars into preferred size and drizzle with the chocolate using a small spoon.
Place in a Tupperware and keep in the fridge for about 6 days. You can also freeze these.

Enjoy!

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