Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Honey-Fig Granola Bars

I had tried a couple of different granola bar recipes a few months ago trying to save money at the grocery store and cut out all the junk in pre-packaged granola bars. I didn't really have too much luck, though, and it seemed like I was spending way too much money on the ingredients. I mean, I can get a box of 8 chewy bars for $1.88. So I gave in and have been buying the store brand recently. But have you looked at those ingredients?

Sorry for the semi-blurry photo quality. 

First of all, if there are that many ingredients, you already know they're no good. But more or less the ingredients are grains and sugar. Pretty much empty calories. So I decided to have another go at making granola bars today. I basically threw whatever I had in the pantry into a bowl and they came out great. 

So here's the recipe:

Honey-Fig Granola Bars

1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup salted pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup puffed rice cereal
10 dried black mission figs
10 pitted dates
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter

You can use any kind of nuts and puffed cereal that you want, and you could also add chocolate chips, dried cherries, shredded coconut, or any other healthy mix-in. If you don't use salted nuts, you may want to add about 1/4 tsp salt. You can also omit the chia seeds if you don't have any. There are just added for the health benefit since they don't add much to the flavor. 

First soak the dates in warm water for about ten minutes or until they get soft. 

Then put the honey and peanut butter into a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds or until you can mix it together easily. 

Next, chop the figs and dates into minuscule pieces. This should take about 8 hours. Or you can use a food processor if you have one. I do not. Don't forget to check the dates for pit fragments and the figs for stems. 

Mix all that stuff up in a bowl. You'll probably need to use your hands. If it doesn't seem to be sticking together all that well then you'll need to add more peanut butter. 

Line a small glass baking dish with plastic wrap and press the mixture down until it's flat. 

Leave some plastic wrap hanging over the sides so you can easily remove it.

Freeze for about 20 minutes or until it sticks together well enough that you can cut it without it all falling apart. Then place each bar into a snack size zipper bag. I like to store them in the freezer but the fridge is fine, too. 

This healthy goodness:



What was the cost for this? I bought a lot of these ingredients a while back so I can't remember the exact price, but I'll estimate. 

Oats: $0.25
Pumpkin seeds: $0.50
Chia seeds: $0.25
Cereal: $0.20
Figs: $0.50
Dates: $0.50
Honey: $0.55
Peanut butter: $0.50

Total: $3.25

This makes 8 big bars vs. 8 tiny chewy bars that you can buy. Now the store brand chewy bars I buy are $1.88 for 8 but the name brand is closer to $3. And if you look at the ingredients of the home-made bars they are all very healthy, especially the pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and figs. These granola bars are actually closer in nature to a Kind bar which cost $1.50 for one. So I'm definitely saving money and I need to stop being lazy and get back in the habit of making granola bars again!

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