Granola bars, energy bars, protein bars, etc. have been a staple of my life since high school. They an easy snack to grab on the go, and I always have a few varieties on hand. But even the healthiest bars out there are not as healthy as making them at home. At the beginning of the year, when we tried out Whole 30, we started experimenting with making our own cereal (recipe to come soon) and granola bars. Using Nature Valley’s Sweet and Salty Dark Chocolate and Chili bar as our muse, we modified a basic granola bar recipe we found online, and we were very happy with the results.
¼ cup roasted unsalted peanuts
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup unsalted roasted almonds
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
⅓ cup honey
¼ unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp chia seeds
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ mini semi sweet or dark chocolate chips
2 bars of at least 70% cacao dark chocolate
2 tsps cayenne pepper (or more if you like spicy!)
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a rectangular baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking oil.
- Roughly chop the almonds
- Put oats and almonds on a baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes until lightly toasted. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Add pumpkin seeds and peanuts to the bowl and mix
- Melt chocolate bars in a double boiler. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until the chocolate is melted. Right before you take it off the heat, add the cayenne pepper and mix well.
- Pour chocolate onto prepared baking sheet. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate evenly over the whole pan. Allow to cool while prepping the other ingredients.
- Combine the butter, honey, vanilla, chia seeds and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the butter is melted, stirring occasionally.
- Pour the butter mixture over the oats and nuts. Add the cayenne pepper. Mix well.
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes and then add the mini chocolate chips and stir gently to combine.
- Pour the oat and nut mixture over the chocolate. Use a rubber spatula to spread the oat and nut mixture evenly over the chocolate. Press firmly to make sure the whole mixture sticks together well.
- Put the pan into the fridge and chill for 30 minutes.
- Cut up the bars into squares or rectangles and put in an airtight container.
- Place them back in the fridge for an hour or two before enjoying.
- Store in a cool place.