Chewy Fruit & Nut Granola Bars

Chewy Fruit & Nut Granola Bars

I’ve made homemade granola bars before, but today I was in the mood to try something different — something I could also add to my 50 in 15 Challenge. I stumbled upon a recipe for Quinoa Pistachio Granola Bars, which was adapted from a recipe from Cooking Light. After looking over the recipes, I knew that I had to give it a shot right away. The end result is a healthy and healthy (and admittedly, crumbly) snack with a good mix of sweet and salty.

Ingredients

  • 1 c. uncooked old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 c. uncooked quinoa
  • 3/4 c. dried fruit (e.g. golden raisins, cranberries, cherries)
  • 1/2 c. pistachios, shells removed
  • 1/3 c. unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp. flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 c. unsalted creamy almond butter
  • 6 tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spread the oats and quinoa on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake for 3-4 minutes, until lightly toasted. Add to the mixing bowl.
  3. In a food processor, combine the pistachios and dried fruit and pulse until everything is coarsely chopped, then add to the mixing bowl.
  4. Add the flaxseed meal to the mixing bowl and stir to incorporate.
  5. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the almond butter, agave nectar, oil, and salt. Bring to a low boil and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Alternatively, combine ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 20-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until mixture is soft and well mixed.
  6. Pour liquid mixture over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and stir everything together until everything is well coated.
  7. Transfer the mixture into a greased 8×8-inch baking dish and press into place well.
  8. Bake at 350° F for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely, then cut into bars/pieces.

Notes

I really didn’t deviate from the recipes much, other than the fact that I heated the almond butter, agave, oil, and salt in the microwave rather than on the stovetop (mostly for quicker and easier cleanup). For the dried fruit, I used equal parts golden raisins and cranberries.

The end result is very tasty indeed, though the bars don’t stay together as well as I would like. But if you don’t mind a few crumbs here and there, these granola bars are definitely worth the effort — even if you have to kill your fingers while de-shelling the pistachios.

Bon Appétit!

 

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