My mum has been making the original version of these granola bars for years, and they are a family favourite! The original recipe calls for butter and more sugar, and I wanted to create a healthier version. I’ve found that friends and family love them just the same! If I’m craving something sweeter, I’ll drizzle bars with melted dark chocolate. I’ve also tried using applesauce and pumpkin purée in place of bananas, which works great! If you don’t have enough fruit mash, feel free to top up with butter, coconut oil or margarine to make the cup.
1 cup bananas, mashed *the riper, the better! Adds natural sweetness
1 1/2 cup peanut butter *I love using a natural, crunchy version
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
6 cups oats
1 cup coconut, shredded unsweetened
1 cup almonds, chopped
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup dark chocolate chips or dried blueberries (feel free to switch up the 5 cups of dried seeds, nuts and fruits with your favourites!)
Set oven to 350 degrees. Toast mixture of dried nuts and seeds (don’t toast fruits, if using) for a few minutes in oven or on stove until golden; set aside.
Combine your mashed bananas, peanut butter, brown sugar, honey, vanilla and cinnamon in a large bowl and mix well. Add oats, dried coconut, nuts, seeds and chocolate and mix well.
Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and press mixture with a wooden spoon until firmly packed. I also like to use my fingers to get the mixture really pressed down firmly! It may seem like the mixture is dry, but keep pressing until it looks like this.
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, until golden. Let cool, and cut in pan while still slightly warm. Let cool completely before removing squares (they firm up in the pan). If you’re craving an extra sweet treat, melt some chocolate with a bit of coconut oil and drizzle overtop. Makes about 25 bars.
I like to store bars between sheets of parchment in a tupperware in the freezer for a quick breakfast, snack on the go! My go-to breakfast with a smoothie.
Let me know what you think!