How To Satisfy A Sugar Tooth Without Sugar? Sweet and Chewy Nutrient Bombs
I made a bunch of granola bars as "travel" food for our upcoming vacation. We have a long trip to Thailand with airport transfers, so I have planned to take emergency food in case I don't find anything I want to eat at the airport (or on the flight). We've eaten half the bars already, so I think I'll have to make more before we fly in a few days.
But that's fine because these are the easiest things to make and you can load them with the ingredients you love and that love your body back. Most store bought granola bars are filled with cheap ingredients to fill out the bar, contain sugar (in its many different disguises), and are just not complete enough to satiate both an appetite and hunger. Even many organic bars are still thin on nutrients and use cane sugar or agave nectar.
When you make them yourself, you can come up with exactly what you want. My recipe includes a lot of fiber, nuts, a little dried fruit (but go easy on these as even unsweetened dried fruit convert to sugar), and sweetness from banana and raw honey (but you can swap with maple syrup or brown rice syrup). The good healthy fats from the coconut oil and nuts and all this great fiber will satisfy and the nice sweetness will keep you from grabbings a cheap muffin at an airport cafe.
I use organic ingredients for almost everything, but especially the coconut oil. (In general, toxics love to reside in fat, so don't skimp. Try to buy the best quality organic you can afford.)
I hope you enjoy them! And wishing you safe and healthy travels!
Makes about 20 bars.
- 2 cups oats (gluten free if necessary)
- 1 cup amaranth
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 cup raw almonds or brazil nuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, raw
- 1/3 cup dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup dried apricot (unsweetened, preservative free, coarsely chopped)
- 1/3 cup dried cranberry or cherries (unsweetened, preservative free, coarsely chopped)
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 green apple, finely chopped
- 1 large ripe banana, smashed (or 2 smaller)
- 3 - 4 tbsp coco oil, melted
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup raw honey
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together.
- Add the chopped apple.
- Massage in the smashed bananas and blend together.
- In a small bowl, blend the coconut oil, honey, and vanilla extract.
- Add the coconut oil and honey syrup into the dry granola ingredients and coat well.
- Spread the mixture into a silicone baking pan and press down until it's firm and packed. (If you don't have a silicone baking pan, you can also line a regular baking dish with parchment paper and oil the sides with a little coconut oil so it doesn't stick.)
- Spread a thin layer of desiccated coconut on top (optional, but I love coconut)>
- Bake at 200 C for about 20 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool and firm a bit before cutting into bars.