As a student on a budget and with a tight schedule, it’s important to prep food for the week so no bad decisions are made … Sometimes fruit and veggies just aren’t satisfying enough to get me through between meals. I need something a little more substantial to keep hunger at bay. I usually reach for some kind of natural granola type bar, but that can get expensive fast. The best option? Make my own, of course.
When I was searching for a recipe, I wanted something that was healthy, tasty, and filling. This recipe exceeds those standards. With protein powder, chia seeds, and oats these bars won’t leave you hungry. With almonds, dark chocolate, and pure maple syrup for sweetness, they are delicious. Everything in these bars is natural and healthy, save for the chocolate chips, but since I use dark chocolate, the amount of sugar is minimal and there’s antioxidants, I swear!
These delicious bars will be the perfect smart snack to get me through the day. Next time I make these, which I’m sure will be embarrassingly soon, I’ll probably play around with the flavors. Shredded coconut and flax meal would work well in these bars, as would dried apricots and walnuts. The best part about making your own granola bars is that they can contain whatever deliciousness you want! I’m thinking dried tart cherries and pecans might be in my future …
Chocolate, Almond, Chia, and Sea Salt Granola Bars
Recipe from Housewife in Training
- 1¾ cups old fashioned oats
- ½ cup protein powder
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup natural peanut butter
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ¼ cup almonds, chopped
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
- Sea salt, to sprinkle on top
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine the oats, protein powder, chia seeds, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well.
In a small bowl, microwave the peanut butter and maple for 30 seconds. Stir until incorporated well, then add to oat mixture. Pour milk into mix and stir until dough forms. Fold in chocolate chips after peanut maple mixture has cooled (otherwise the chips will melt). Dump into a greased 9×9 pan and press evenly into pan with spatula or wet hands (it will be a little sticky!). Press almonds on top and sprinkle a little sea salt.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes, then cut into 12 bars. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
Some pics of the process:
Press dough into pan and sprinkle almonds and sea salt on top. Press slightly into dough to keep everything together.
Bake and let cool on a wire rack until you can slide the whole thing onto a cutting board (parchment paper helps with this).
Cut into 12 square bars … you could make them bigger or smaller as you wish.
Pack up and pop into the fridge to snack on throughout the week.
The whole batch is about 2,350 calories, which comes out to 195 calories of nutritional goodness per bar.