The granola bar gets a makeover with these gluten and dairy-free treats. Gluten-free and dairy-free healthy granola bars chocked full of oats, pumpkin seeds, fruit, healthy fats, and chocolate chips, sweetened with honey!
If you’ve ever forgotten to defrost dinner—and ended up ordering take out instead—you know that consistent healthy eating does require some planning. Yet when it comes to snacking, we often wing it (as in, “It’s 3 p.m.—oh, i need something to eat”). Planning healthy snacks is often one of the most overlooked components of meal prepping.
There is competing nutritional science around snacking. Some research suggest not to snack between meals to allow for proper digestion, while other research encourages smaller meals throughout the day. My firm belief is that we all have different needs based on our lifestyles but one rule of snacking applies across the board, if you want to enjoy a snack, it is important to snack mindfully.
What does snacking mindfully entail?
Two important tips are:
- Checking in with your hunger levels and making a conscious decision to enjoy a snack
- Sitting down, putting your snack on a plate and throughly enjoy each bite rather then grabbing something on the fly or scarfing it down standing in front of the refrigerator or pantry wondering what you are going to eat
A common snacking pitfall
Granola bars are a great on-the-go snack option for busy people— yet these seemingly innocent bars often contain multiple highly processed and sugar-filled ingredients, ranking their nutritional level close to candy bars. Similar to candy or cookies, many granola bars contain high fructose corn syrup, which has been linked to weight gain and insulin resistance; hydrogenated oils, which can raise cholesterol levels; and monosodium glutamate (MSG), which has been linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes. (Source)
Granola bar makeover
These healthy granola bars are chocked full of nutritous ingredients. Gluten-free fiber filled oats, protein packed pumpkin seeds, omega-6 and omega-3 loaded Filippo Berio Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and, of course, dairy-free chocolate chips. Sweetened with honey, for a healthified take on your favorite snack!
- 1 ½ cups gluten free old-fashion rolled oats
- ½ cup gluten free quick oats
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1⁄2 tsp salt
- 1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 cup almond butter
- 4 tbls Filippo Berio Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1⁄3 cup honey
- 1 tbls water
- 2 cups dried apples (look for single ingredient dried apples; no added sugar or preservatives)
- ½ cup dairy free chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Line a rectangular (9x5) baking dish with parchment paper, then lightly grease with extra virgin olive oil
- Process ½ cup of the old fashion oats in a blender or food processor until finely ground
- Chop up dried apples
- Stir together dry ingredients — oats, ground oats, pumpkin seeds, salt, cinnamon and cardamom
- Whisk together wet ingredients — olive oil, honey, almond butter, vanilla and water
- Mix together the wet and dry ingredients
- Fold in apples and chocolate chips
- Spread mixture in the pan and press firmly into corners and edges so the top is even.
- Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, until the top starts to brown. The center may feel underdone but will firm up as the bars cool
- Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes and then take them out using the parchment. Let cool completely before cutting
- Serve and store extras in the refrigerator
Thank you Filippo Berio for sponsoring this post and thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible. As always, opinions are my own.