My little Luca (he’s now 6!!) started doing sports on a regular basis and snacks are become a real energy charge for him!! He really really likes granola bars and at the beginning I simply bought them from my the store. Than I started reading the ingredients and checking the prices…discovering that:
- not every advertised “healthy” granola bar is truly healthy. I was not super happy with some ingredients starting from the added sugars.
- the real healthy ones are kind of pricey
Two enough good reasons to make me prepare my own homemade chocolate fruity granola bars. They ended up insanely good and super easy to make!! Also, and that is for me a super bonus, I could cut them in the size appropriate to Luca’s appetite = two bites. So I made super mini granola bars that he could enjoy without any waste 😉
Kid happy & mom happy = Success!!!
Also, with the quantity of one recipe I made enough bars for more than one month, without talking about the huge money saving!!
The chocolate granola bars are naturally gluten free and also refined sugar free. To naturally sweeten them I used dried fruit (mango and cherries) and a lovely apple sweetener that I’ve been recently testing. It’s from Rigoni di Asiago, it’s called Dolcedì and it’s made from the concentrated and filtered sugar extracted from organic apples.
- 1 cup whole almonds 150gr.
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds 70gr.
- 1 cup crisp rice cereal 30gr.
- 1 ½ cup old fashion oats 140gr.
- 4 Tbsp cup ground flax
- 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/4 cup dried mango 30gr.
- 1/4 cup dried cherries 30gr.
- ¼ cup Dolcedi' apple sweetener 60ml by Rigoni di Asiago
- 1/2 cup coconut oil 70ml
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 6 Tablespoons almond butter
- 12 ounces dark chocolate 300gr.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and scatter 1 cup old fashion oats in a baking sheet. Toast them in the oven for 15 min.
- Line a 9 X 9 pan with parchment paper. You want a piece long enough that the sides will come back over and cover the top of the bars once you fill the pan.
- In a food processor add ½ cup of almonds, ½ cup of sunflower seeds, and 1/2 cup of the remaining oats. Process until it turns into a fine powder, about 1 minute. Remove and place in a bowl.
- In the food processor now place the remaining almonds, the dried mango and the dried cherries. Chop them in tiny pieces, almost breadcrumbs consistency.
- Add them to a large bowl along with the toasted oats, the almond/oat/sunflowerseed flour, the rice cereal, the ground flax and the chia seeds. Toss together.
- Heat a small pan on the stove over medium heat. Add the apple sweetener, coconut oil, vanilla bean paste, and the almond butter. Stir constantly until everything is fully melted and begins to foam. Allow it to foam and bubble for about a minute before immediately pouring it over the nuts and oats mixture. Mix well.
- Fill the square pan with the granola mix. Press very well with a spoon to compact the mix as much as possible
- Fold the parchment over the top of the granola and PRESS to fill the corners and flatten. Keep pressing to remove any possible air bubble.
- Let the granola bar set up in a cool dry place (kitchen countertop) with a weight on top for at least few hours. overnight is better.
- Remove the granola bar from the pan on a cutting board. Remove the parchment paper. Slice small bars, rectangular shape. Size the bars pending your kids' appetite.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute
- Dip the base of each bar in the chocolate and place them on a parchment paper on a flat surface. Drizzle some chocolate on top too, it's more yummy and keeps the granola bars together 😉
- Let it cool down and ENJOY!
- Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.