Apricot and Coconut Granola Bar Recipe

granola-bars-585We recently shared a healthier mac and cheese from The Truly Healthy Family Cookbook by Tina Ruggiero, nutritionist. Today we’re getting her spin on a popular snack item: the granola bar.

Tina says she’s not a fan of most granola bars because they’re brimming with added sugar and are really a candy bar in disguise. Instead, she opts for apricot-coconut granola bars, which are a yummy alternative to what you find on the shelf. These snacks travel beautifully, whether in a lunch bag or handbag, and they’ll last up five days in a tightly sealed container. The longer they sit, the more crumbly they get, so she says to be sure to use the crumbles in a yogurt parfait so nothing will go to waste! In this granola bar recipe, she uses apricots and coconuts for pure deliciousness. Enjoy!

Apricot and Coconut Granola Bars
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 20 squares
 
These granola bars make such a pretty gift! You can wrap the bars individually or in batches. And, these bars can be frozen, so you can bake now and wrap later!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1¼ cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ¾ cup unsalted sunflower seeds or unsalted peanuts
  • 1 (6-ounce) container dried apricots (1 cup roughly chopped)
  • ½ cup vanilla protein powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Add oats and coconut. Cook in preheated oven until toasted, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring mixture every 5 minutes. Remove from oven, and reserve.
  3. Meanwhile, place sunflower seeds or nuts and dried apricots into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse mixture for 30 seconds to 1 minute until apricots and seeds are tiny bits without being completely puréed.
  4. Prepare a 9 x 12 baking dish by very lightly coating it with cooking spray. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, add apricot mixture, protein powder, salt and reserved oat-coconut mixture.
  6. In a small stockpot, add brown sugar, maple syrup and butter. Warm mixture over medium-high heat, and stir until butter is melted. Remove from heat, and carefully pour into oat mixture. Stir to combine until entire mixture is coated.
  7. Transfer mixture into prepared baking dish. Using your hands or a spatula, firmly press down on oat mixture, packing it into the dish.
  8. Cook in preheated oven 20 minutes for a chewier granola bar, 25 minutes for a crunchier one. (Granola mixture will be golden around the edges of the pan.) Remove from oven.
  9. Using a spatula, firmly press down on mixture again. Cover and let granola bars sit at room temperature at least 5 to 6 hours. Using a serrated knife, cut the granola bars into 20 squares. Store in an airtight container.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 180 Fat: 7 g Carbohydrates: 24 g Sodium: 35 mg Fiber: 3 g Protein: 4 g

Do you ever make your own granola bars? I’ve been on a DIY kick lately, but haven’t done these yet. On the to-do list! Erin

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