Granola bars are overrated. They are over-priced over-processed and under-healthy.
I’m looking at a package I have in my office and the ingredients are as follows:
Granola (rolled oats, wheat flakes doing ok so far, invert sugar wait I thought sugar was bad for you, sugar not inverted?glucose isn’t that another work for sugar?, honey liquid sugar… canola or soybean oil seed oils high in O-3s molasses sounds like more sugar salt, monoglycerides emulsify that fat!), glucose I’m still pretty sure that’s sugar, crisp rice (milled rice, sugar again?, salt, calcium carbondate), raisins wow, that sounds like a real food of sorts, glycerin, canola and/or soybean oil the and/or part still makes me uncomfortable honey, salt), cinnamon, almonds, natural flavor, malt syrup, molassas, sunflower meal, nonfat milk, peanut flour, cashew flour, soy flour.
This thing takes a pretty drastic turn for the worse after the oats and the wheat flakes. And since a combination of oats and wheat flakes in and of themselves is probably not very palatable, the 11 different ingredients for sugar was probably a necessity to get people to buy and eat them. At $5/box, these amounted to approximately $.50 each. Not terrible, but you can definately get better nutrition for less than that!
So why in the world would anyone want to buy granola bars? I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m going to guess a combination of:
- They’re easy.
- They taste good (I don’t know how they couldn’t with sugar being in the ingredient list 11 times–no I’m not letting that one go!)
- They are perceived as healthy. (something about the word “granola” just seems to feel healthy for people…)
Larabars are one of the only healthy snack-type bar I’m aware of, but unfortuantely cost about $2/bar. Fortunately, their ingredient list is so short, it’s not difficult to replicate at home! And so I did:
The easiest snack ball (because a ball is easier for me to make than a bar; if you are a “bar” person, feel free to make bars) recipe ever! No baking or expert skill required and you probably could get away with no measurements and still have a great product. In fact, you could probably memorize this recipe at first glance! All you need is a food processor.
Ready? Pulse nuts until chopped. Remove. Pulse dates until it forms a ball. Add nuts. Pulse until combined. Voila! Form into balls & eat!
- 1 Part Nuts (ie. 1 Cup Cashews)
- 2 Part Dates (ie. 2 cups Dates)
- Pulse nuts until they are in rough pieces (don’t let it go until powder or butter)
- Remove and set aside.
- Place dates in food processor and blend until it forms a ball.
- Add nuts and pulse until just barely combined.
- (If too sticky, you can add more nuts or oats; if too dry, more dates)
- Either spread into pans forming bars (hard to do since it’s sticky!) or form into balls (easier to do!) using hands or cookie dough scooper.
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