Always hungry between meals? Ditch the greasy samosas and pack some home-made granola bars instead. Crunchy, healthy and sinfully sweet, granola bars are a perfect replacement for the more calorie-dense chocolate bars with a whole lot more fibre. But store-bought options may have a lot more sugar than you realise and they aren’t too easy on the pocket either. Besides, the aroma that will fill your kitchen when you rustle these up make them a nicer option any day.
What you’ll need:
1 cup Medjool or any high-quality, moist dates
¼ cup honey (or maple syrup if vegan)
¼ cup salted peanut or almond butter
1 cup almonds
1 ½ cup rolled oats
¼ cup raisins or chocolate chips
½ cup shredded coconut
Vanilla essence (optional)
How to make:
Roast the almonds, oats and coconut until lightly browned. Chop the almonds loosely. Pit the dates if not already done.
Grind the dates in a mixer with a little water if required. Remove the mixture in a bowl and add the oats, almonds, coconut and raisins or chocolate chips.
In a saucepan, warm the honey and peanut butter until they form a smooth liquid. Pour this over the bowl containing the other ingredients. Mix well.
Line a pan or baking dish with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Spread the granola mixture over the dish and flatten using your palms or any flat surface. Cover again with wrap or paper and chuck the dish into the freezer to allow the granola to harden.
After 30 minutes, remove and cut into bars or squares. Store in an air-tight container or refrigerator for greater lifespan.
You can get creative with additions – any nuts, dried fruits or roasted seeds work. But make sure the proportion of dry ingredients isn’t so high that the bars don’t hold together.
For a chocolatier version, add cocoa powder to the mix, along with wheat bran or wheat germ for more nutritive value.