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I have a confession to make: nearly everyday, I leave the house without eating breakfast. Yes, my life revolves around food and I am skipping the most important meal of the day. That is irony, friends. It's not really my fault, though, I just can't stomach anything (except coffee, nectar of the gods) until about two hours after I wake up. And by that point, I am already long gone and end up relying on protein bars or worse to fill me up until lunchtime. So I have been eyeing homemade granola bar recipes and decided to try a few. The results overall were somewhat mixed, but I did land on 2 truly awesome recipes worth sharing. First up, Banana Quinoa Bars. It's hard to compare these to anything because they are really pretty unique: a soft bar with a mild banana flavor and lots of texture between the nuts, seeds and quinoa. I loved the crunchy texture, and my husband really didn't. But they held together well, were easy to make, froze nicely, filled me up and tasted great. Although, I will admit, they tasted better when I was really hungry; so as a treat they might be a disappointment, but as fuel they were perfect. I also tested Prune-Almond Butter Bars. These were a lot sweeter, and a tiny bit messier, but also really worth having in the repertoire. For on-the-go eating, guilt-free snacking and kids' lunches, give these recipes a try, and let me know what you think!
Banana Quinoa Bars
Yield= 10 bars
1 cup Rolled Oats
1/2 cup uncooked Quinoa
2 Tbsp. Chia seeds
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Cinnamon
2 ripe Bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/4 cup roughly chopped Almonds
1/4 cup roughly chopped pecans
1/3 cup dried fruit like Cranberries
1/4 cup creamy Almond butter
2 Tbsp. Honey
Preheat oven to 350* and line an 8x8 baking pan with foil. Combine the oats, quinoa, seeds, salt and cinnamon. Stir in the mashed banana and vanilla and then fold in the nuts and dried fruit. In the microwave or on the stovetop, heat the almond butter and honey until smooth, then fold in to the oats mixture. Press firmly into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until the edges turn light brown. Allow to cool completely before cutting.
Prune and Almond Butter Bars
1 cup Prunes, pureed (you can also sub dates)
1/4 cup Honey
1/4 cup creamy Almond butter (or peanut butter)
1 cup Almonds, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups Rolled Oats
1/2 cup dried fruit
1/2 tsp. Salt
In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, dried fruit and salt. On the stovetop or in a microwaveable bowl, heat prune puree, honey and almond butter until smooth and viscous. Combine with the oats mixture until well-mixed. Press mixture firmly into an 8x8 pan lined with foil. Allow to sit for an hour to set up, then cut into 10 bars.
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