Halloween is almost here and that means the rest of the holidays are looming close on the horizon. Welcome to the eating season. I call it that because we (that’s a collective “we” — I know I’m not the only one) indulge with particular gusto from the end of October through the New Year.
So before we start the annual splurge-fest, here’s a healthy-ish snack option. Better than a Snickers, these slightly sweet cherry almond granola bars won’t weigh you down and will leave you with a lot more energy to tackle those last couple of hours in your workday than anything coming out of a vending machine. Promise.
They’ve got loads of healthy whole grains, organic nut butter, almonds and chewy-sweet dried cherries. Yum!
I didn’t have to ask my taste testers twice when I set these bars out on the counter. They were gone faster than one of my daughter’s snapchats!
Most importantly, these bars only require about 20 minutes of hands-on effort. Heat the wet ingredients together in a saucepan, then mix them with the dry ingredients. Press the mixture into a pan and bake. When they cool, slice them into bars or squares. Done.
These crunchy, chewy granola bars aren’t just for snack time, either. Hand one to your little munchkin as they’re running to catch the bus in the morning or stuff one into their lunchbox. Homemade granola’s got to be better for them than a bowl of Lucky Charms or a handful of Oreos, right?
- 2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
- 3/4 cup sliced raw almonds
- 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup organic almond butter
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray a 8x12" pan with vegetable spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the oats, almonds, wheat germ and cherries.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, almond butter, honey, vanilla and kosher salt, stirring constantly until butter has melted and the mixture is smooth, 3-4 minutes. Pour the almond butter mixture over the oat mixture and using a rubber spatula mix together until evenly combined.
- Spray your fingers with a bit of vegetable spray and rub your hands together, to prevent sticking. Turn the granola onto your prepared pan and use your fingertips to press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove and cool to room temperature before cutting into bars.