Thursday, June 21, 2012

Improv Cooking Challenge: Skinny Cherry Almond Granola Bars

Cherries and almonds.  The perfect ingredients to make some healthy, homemade granola bars for my little girlie!  I've had homemade granola bars on my list of "to-do's" for quite some time, but I wanted to make sure that they weren't loaded with sugar and butter.  I found a recipe on Prevention RD that Nicole raved about and knew that I had to try it ... with just a few changes for the Improv Challenge.  They held together perfectly, and were really yummy!  You could definitely tell they were "healthy" (not to be confused with the overly-sugary store-bought versions), but despite their "healthy taste" my little girlie loved them too.  Sweet success.
Best dishes and yummy dreams!


Skinny Cherry Almond Granola Bars
Recipe adapted from:  Nicole at Prevention RD
Makes 16 bars

3 1/2 c. old fashioned oats
3/4 c. chopped raw almonds
3 very ripe bananas
2/3 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c. sliced, dried cherries
1/2 c. Craisins
1 tbsp. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 c. dark chocolate chips
2 tbsp. ground flax seed
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1.  Cover a 9 by 13 baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.  Combine the oats and almonds and spread them out on the parchment paper.
3.  Toast the oats and almonds in the oven for ten minutes, or until golden brown.
4.  In a bowl, mash the bananas with a fork and add the applesauce.
5.  In another large bowl, combine the oats and almonds with the remaining ingredients and mix well.
6.  Add the bananas and applesauce to the large bowl until the mixture begins to clump together.  
7.  Spread the mixture back onto the baking sheet with parchment, press down firmly and evenly.  
8.  Bake for 30 minutes.
9.  Cut them into bars, and then leave them to cool before separating the bars. 

Refrigerate for a week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Enjoy!  Thanks for reading xo


Jennifer said...

I'm going to make these for my kiddos! Thanks for sharing!

Kristen said...

I made granola bars last week and it never crossed my mind to add almonds and cherries for this challenge. What a great treat.

Melody ♪♫ said...

ahhhhhh -- granola bars! Yummy for breakfast or snack anytime.

Amber @ The Cook's Sister said...

Yum! Your granola bars look fantastic! What a great idea for the Improv Challenge!

Chandra@The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen said...

What a cute blog! What a great recipe! Thanks for sharing! Please come check me out! #32

Lesa said...

Great looking granola bars! Nice choice.

Words Of Deliciousness said...

Yum,these granola bars look really delicious.

Kristin said...

I've never made granola bars...maybe I need to get busy!

Teri@thefreshmancook said...

I have been thinking about making granola bars for some time now, but I wasn't sure what would be good. Yous recipe has pushed my over the edge, and I think I have everything I need in the pantry, so I am off to the kitchen. Thanks for a great sounding recipe that looks really beautiful!