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!
- 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
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- 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.
- 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.
- Prepare a 9 x 12 baking dish by very lightly coating it with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add apricot mixture, protein powder, salt and reserved oat-coconut mixture.
- 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.
- Transfer mixture into prepared baking dish. Using your hands or a spatula, firmly press down on oat mixture, packing it into the dish.
- 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.
- 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.
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