Yesterday I posted a recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars, and since granola bars are so customizable, I decided to make another flavor: Banana Berry with Toasted Coconut.
Dried fruit, although fairly high in sugar, is a convenient snack (especially for toddlers!). I decided to combine my two favorites — freeze-dried bananas (a.k.a. “space” bananas) and dried wild blueberries. And since I had some toasted coconut on hand, I crushed some of that and added it to the mix. All of these flavors, in addition to the almond butter and ground cinnamon, come together to form a granola bar that tastes like a blueberry muffin with a hint of banana. It’s a great bar for breakfast on the go!
- 1¼ cups oats (certified GF if necessary)
- 1¼ cups rice cereal
- ¼ t. salt
- ½ t. ground cinnamon
- ½ cup sliced almonds, chopped
- ¼ cup toasted coconut chips, chopped
- ⅓ cup freeze-dried bananas, chopped
- ⅓ cup dried wild blueberries
- ⅔ cup brown rice syrup
- ½ cup natural almond butter (unsalted and unsweetened)
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- Line a 9 x 9" baking pan with parchment or wax paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, or in a microwave-safe bowl heated in 30-second increments, heat the brown rice syrup and the almond butter until liquefied and smooth. Add the vanilla extract and stir well.
- Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and stir until completely combined. It should be difficult to stir.
- Transfer mixture to the lined pan and spread evenly. Cover top with a sheet of wax paper and press down firmly with your hands. Use the side of a can to roll and press all the way to the edges of the pan. The firmer you press, the more likely your bars will stay together.
- Place pan into the freezer for 10-15 minutes to firm.
- Remove pan from freezer, lift parchment paper and bars out of pan, and transfer to a cutting board. Using a large, sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut granola square into 10-12 bars, depending on how large you want them.
- Eat right away, or transfer to an air-tight container and keep in the fridge to stay firm, or leave at room temperature for a softer bar.
Granola bars are a great snack to make for friends and family. They are more nutritious than cookies, but are still a treat that even kids will love. And if you really want to make them more convenient, you can individually wrap them so they can be thrown into purses or backpacks for people who are on the go.
And as I mentioned in my previous post, if you’re like my husband and can’t stand the taste of bananas, substitute another dry ingredient of equal volume. For example, you could use 1/3 cup chopped pecans, dried apples,
white chocolate chips chopped macadamia nuts, etc. The possibilities are endless!
These bars are so fun and delicious, everyone in the family will love them! Just make sure you buy extra ingredients, because one batch probably won’t be enough! 🙂