This isn’t the first (and certainly won’t be the last) granola bar recipe you’ll see on the blog. I’ve got a serious soft spot for all things granola bars- both homemade and store bought. I’m always checking out the new granola bars out there and sizing it up for a few things.
- Whole grains…… we’re talking whole wheat flour, oats, quinoa, millet, brown rice, etc. and not as much of the white stuff.
- Protein…… in the form of nuts, egg whites, pea/soy/whey protein
- No sugar alcohols or ‘fake’ fibers…… don’t get me started on these. We do NOT get along. Many clients have also come to me with vague complaints of IBS and upon eliminating these two ingredients from their intake, the bloating and abdominal distention disappeared. I personally don’t mess with inulin, chicory root, and anything ending in -itol. Disclaimer: some people with iron GI tracts tolerate these perfectly fine. If that’s you, feel free to ignore this and go about your Quest/One/Fiber bar eating.
- Less added sugar than a candy bar……. no really, plenty of granola bars have more sugar than a snickers.
My two store bought granola bar favorites are Rx bars and Picky bars. Not only are they delish, but they meet all my criteria above and more. Plus, if you join the Picky Club, you get a sweet shirt, free swag, and bragging rights. I don’t get anything from this mention – just sharing the love. Because, this is a question I get a lot.
So back to these granola bars here! I wanted to use almond butter instead of peanut butter for some variety. Make sure you get the natural almond butter that’s drippy – the other kind doesn’t work as well. We get a massive tub at Costco for less than $10 – totally worth the membership! I used agave instead of honey this time because I wanted a sweetener without the strong flavor of honey so that the almond, lemon, and blueberry flavors could shine through. If you don’t have agave – honey would certainly work. The final flavor will just be different.
Shake it up with a new granola bar flavor – I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed!
Blueberry Lemon Granola Bars
Yield: 12 (bars) or 16 (squares)
1/2 cup natural almond butter
1/2 cup agave
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
zest of one lemon (approx. 1 tsp)
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup dried blueberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper. Note: you want the parchment paper long enough to hang out the sides of the pan. So that you can pull up on both sides to remove the whole granola bar to cut outside the pan.
- In a microwave safe bowl, combine almond butter, agave, and oil. Microwave for 20 seconds and whisk together.
- Add vanilla and lemon zest. Whisk again.
- In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and oats. Mix.
- Add almond butter mixture to oat mixture and stir very well. Stir in dried blueberries.
- Press granola bar dough into prepared 8×8 pan. Press down very well. This keeps them from crumbling when you cut them.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until brown. Remove from oven and completely cool before removing from pan.
- Once cool, pull out entire granola bar square by lifting the parchment paper out on both sides. Cut into 12 bars or 16 squares. Store in an air tight container on the counter for a week, or longer if you don’t mind stale granola bars.
- These bad boys are a variation of my Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars…. aka the most viewed recipe on the blog. So, you know they’re good!
- I couldn’t decide between blueberry-lemon and apricot almond for the first variation. So, I made them both…. apricot almond was the runner-up, but if it sounds good to you – swap sliced apricots for the blueberries. And, use almond extract instead of vanilla. They will certainly get eaten! But not nearly as flavorful as I had hoped.
- If you want your bars to look like these, buy a granola bar pan. And, they may need a few minutes less bake time. Check at 16 or 17 minutes.
- Easily make these gluten free with an all-purpose gluten free flour blend and gluten free oats.
Athletes: Great snack for 1-2 hours before endurance training. Also, great starter snack post exercise. Just make sure to add a good source of protein within the hour also.
Healthy Eating: I know I’m not the only granola bar junkie out there. These are so easy to make and way better than the store bought version – both in taste AND nutrition!
Kids: Awesome after school snack! Kids in sports after school? Pack one for them to grab right after classes before getting changed and hitting the field/court/track/etc.