As a grad student, grab and go snacks are kind of my saving grace. Instead of buying those $2.50 granola/protein bars in the student markets I try to pack snacks that will keep me feeling full and satisfied, as well as tackling my sweet tooth. Carrot sticks and cucumber just doesn’t cut it sometimes!
My new favorite go-to snack are these dense, yet soft granola bars that are filled with a ton of nuts and dried fruit. The great thing about these bars, is that you can really adjust them to your liking! My other favorite part about these granola bars is that there is no added-sugar, no eggs, and no oil. The way they get super sweet is with three bananas blended in a food processor/blender and then poured over the dry mix. It binds them together really well and provides a banana bread like flavor.
This is just a few examples of how you can mix it up with the dried fruit! I like dates, apricots, dried cherries, or cranberries.
These bars are on the softer side and I refrigerate them after baking and slicing.
cranberry&nut granola bars: (makes about 6 large bars)
Adapted from Eat Your Greens
– 1 cup of old fashioned oats
– 1/2 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
-1/2 cup sunflower seeds, shelled
-1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
-1/4 cup chopped almonds
-1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
-1/4 cup dried cranberries
-3 small ripe bananas
-1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using any salted nuts)
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly spray a baking dish with PAM. In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, seeds, coconut, dried cranberries, salt, and cinnamon. Mix everything well.
In a blender or food processor, blend the bananas until a creamy smoothie textured results.
Mix the wet (banana) and dry ingredients together and combine thoroughly. Spread into a 9×9 greased baking dish and bake for 30 minutes at 350. Slice once cooled and store in the refrigerator.
These bars are really easy to make and can be stored for about a week!