Happy Labor Day! It’s the first Monday of the month, and that means another Mediterranean Diet-friendly recipe is comin’ atcha! This one was born of a challenge from my boyfriend to come up with a granola bar recipe that wasn’t loaded in sugar and carbs. The truth is, you just can’t find any in the store with less than 25 grams of carbs, and most of that is sugar and not much is dietary fiber.
Well…challenge accepted, and conquered! This recipe has a total of 13.2 grams of carbs, with 5.2 of that being dietary fiber and only 6 being sugar. In fact, we’ve even found dark chocolate chips sweetened with stevia, so now that number is even a little bit less.
- 1 1/2 cups of sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate pieces (at least 60% cacao)
- 2 TBS chia seeds
- 1/4 cup organic peanut butter
- 1/4 cup stevia for baking
- 1/4 cup sukrin fiber syrup, stevia syrup, or other sugar-free syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
- dash or two of cinnamon
- In a food processor, combine nuts and chop into an extra fine consistency, then pour into a medium size mixing bowl
- Grind coconut in the food processor and add to nuts
- Chop cranberries up in the food processor a bit, just to make smaller pieces (the finer the texture of the bars, the better they hold together), and add to the bowl
- Finally, chop up the chocolate pieces and add to the bowl as well, then pour in chia seeds and stir mixture together
- In a small saucepan, add the remaining ingredients and melt together over medium-high heat, stirring constantly to prevent sticking, until a smooth sauce forms
- Pour the sauce into the dry ingredients, then stir until well-combined
- In a 9×9 square pan lined with wax or parchment paper, pour in the granola mixture and spread evenly with a rubber scraper. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes, or until granola is cooled through.
- Lift the parchment paper out of the pan, then cut the granola into 12 pieces. Store in a container or gallon size bag with parchment paper between layers. I keep mine in the refrigerator to keep the bars together. Since they do not contain any sugar, they don’t harden in the way that traditional store-bought granola bars do.
These bars are pretty darn delicious, and Michael never seems to tire of them. I make them for him pretty much weekly, or any time he runs out. He’ll eat them for breakfast or for snacks when he gets hungry at work. Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean just eating bland, flavorless veggies…and this recipe is proof! Hope you enjoy as much as he does 🙂