Our Go-To Granola Bars

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A few years ago I accidentally landed on these delicious granola bars. I was trying to make those energy bites but something went wrong, but oh so right. The mixture wasn't allowing me to form bite sized balls. I soon become frustrated and put the mixture into the freezer to try and firm them up. Once they were firm I cut a piece off to try and roll them into a ball, but first took a bit. I immediately fell in love with the taste and texture. Cut them up into bar shapes and my "candy" bars were born. I called them candy bars because they honestly taste so sweet and salty like good candy bar should. But these bars are packed with hearty things like oats and almonds. You get some good protein in with the peanut butter. I also put in two super foods, chia and cacao powder which give the bars a boost in antioxidants and omega-3s. 

I made these quite often and when I share them on my Instagram so many of you ask for the recipe. I posted the original recipe a few years back here, but below I switched some things up for the better! I also doubled the recipe so it makes more bars (per a friends request ;) 

A few of you have made the original bars I posted a while ago and added chocolate chips to the top and some other things. I give some substitute ideas in the recipe card below, please feel free to get creative with them! Enjoy Friends!

Photos By Lily Ro Photography


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RECIPE

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Servings: 12-14 bars

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup raw honey
1 cup smooth natural peanut butter
1 cup unsalted sliced almonds
2 cups gluten free oats
1 1/2 tablespoons chia seed

1 tablespoon cacao powder (*Not cocoa powder) You can google the difference here, but what it comes down to is the way the beans are processed. Cacao is considered a "superfood" because it is minimally processed therefore keeping its benefits intact. IT offers a subtle chocolate flavor but more so it gives the bars some added nutrients.

2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
2 hearty pinches of sea salt

You'll also need a standard baking dish 9in x 13in and some parchment paper to line it with.

Feel free to use any nut butter you'd like so long as it is smooth; almond, cashew etc. Our favorite though is natural peanut butter. You can also substitute the sliced almonds for unsweetened coconut flakes, unsalted pecans or any other crunchy ingredient so long as it is unsweetened and unsalted. If you substitute the dried cranberries try going for another tart dried fruit like cherries. I'd skip any sweet dried fruit like raisins since the base of these bars are pretty sweet to begin with. Lastly, you can substitute the raw honey for maple syrup or agave. Just know that your bars will have a different consistency than what is shown.

STEPS

1 — First line a 9in x 13in baking dish with parchment paper. Also, clear a spot in your refrigerator large enough for the baking dish. Once the bars are finished and in the baking dish, they will need to firm up in the refrigerator.

2 — In a small sauce pan over medium low heat, stir together the; coconut oil, raw honey and peanut butter. Stir these until smooth. 

3 — Add the cacao powder and vanilla. Stir until smooth and the cacao powder is fully incorporated. 

4 — Now turn off the heat. Add in your chia seeds and sliced almonds. Stir until everything is evenly coated. 

5 — Next, stir in your oats one cup at a time. Again, be sure to stir until everything is evenly coated. 

6 — Last, stir in your dried cranberries. 

7 — Pour your mixture into the dish lined with parchment paper. Smooth the mixture out until it is in an even layer. 

8 — Add your two hearty pinches of sea salt over the top of the bars. Be sure to evenly disperse the salt so you can taste it with every bit. The bars are more on the sweet side with the honey, vanilla and peanut butter. The bit of salt on top really makes a difference and cuts through the sweetness a bit. Its honestly my favorite part when enjoying the bars. 

9 — Now, store your bars in the refrigerator for up to an hour or until fully firm. I sometimes let the bars firm up in the freezer if we want to enjoy them quicker.  

10 — Once the bars are firm, cut them into small rectangles. Store the bars in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Since the base of these bars is coconut oil they don't do well in the heat or travel that well. They are best cold. We love having them on hand for a quick breakfast, afternoon snack or to satisfy a late night sweet tooth craving. 

Mila's Ice Pop Adventure - Bubbly Lemon Lime

It is time to add another recipe to Mila's Ice Pop Adventure series! This week we created the easiest and most refreshing ice pop ever. I think this may be my all time favorite right now. This specific ice pop is so yummy and satisfies my late night snack cravings. Also, (and this is idea is obviously for adults only) this ice pop recipe would taste pretty dang good with a few shots of tequila and a dash of agave sweetener mixed in too!! ;)

For this ice pop recipe we used one of our most favorite beverages LaCroix, plus added some real fruit juice to brighten things up. Mila loves LaCroix so much and right now she refers to it as "bubbles" which I love. This recipe and blog post are not sponsored by LaCroix, we just adore them so much! I love them mostly because its a refreshing drink that has no bad stuff in it. It is just sparkling water with subtle natural flavors which is why I let Mila have some whenever I drink it. Anyways, for this recipe we use the lemon flavor but you could use pretty much any flavor you'd like. 

This ice pop seriously takes seconds to put together and I love getting Mila involved with pouring and squeezing the lemons. As you can tell from the photos below, things can get pretty messy! Though the messes can be cleaned, the memories last a lifetime. We've loved creating ice pop recipes for you all to enjoy with your family. I'm hoping you bookmark your favorites to make when Summer fully arrives. If you've missed the last few recipes you can find them here and here. I've also linked my own popsicle cooking kit down below if you are interested! My own popsicle kit comes with five silicon popsicle molds and a few recipes as well. 

Have fun making your frozen treats! Stay Tuned next week for a brand new ice pop recipe! 

Photos by Lily Ro Photography 

BUBBLY LEMON LIME ICE POPS

  • Prep time: 5 minutes

  • Cook time: 6 hours or overnight

  • Servings: About 6 Ice Pops

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lemons

  • 2 limes

  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest

  • 1 teaspoon lime zest

  • 1 can of Lemon Flavored LaCroix Water

  • Ice Pop Mold (an ice tray if you have extra liquid left over after filling your molds)

*This makes about 2 cups of liquid so you'll be able to fill up at least 6 ice pops, thought it depends on your mold and how many it can etc. If you have left over liquid, pour it into an ice tray and use for drinks! *We use LaCroix sparkling water for this, though you can use what ever kind you prefer. I like LaCroix the best because it has just has water and natural flavors in it.

STEPS

1

You'll want to start by gathering your ice pop mold and all its parts. This way when it is time to pour your liquid you have everything ready and aren't searching for lids etc. 

2

Next you'll zest your lemon and lime. Use a microplane or the fine side of a cheese grater to rub the zest off the lemon and lime. Be sure to only zest the first layer of the lemon and lime peel. Once you see white stop immediately. The white part of the peel is really bitter. 

3

With either your hands, a handheld juicer or regular juice machine, squeeze the juice from your two lemons and limes. I like to strain the juice through a mesh strainer to get rid of any seeds and pulp. Doing this also makes for a nice smooth ice pop. 

4

In an easy to pour container add your lemon and lime juice and the LaCroix sparkling water. Next stir in the lemon and lime zest. 

5

Pour your lemon lime liquid into your ice pop molds. Be sure to leave at least a 1/4 of an inch of room in the ice pop molds! This is important because the sparkling water will expand when frozen. Also when pouring your liquid into the ice pop molds, do it very slowly so the liquid doesn't bubble up and spill out. 

6

Freeze your Bubbly Lemon Lime Ice Pops in the freezer for up to six hours or over night. 

7

Once fully frozen enjoy! These keep in your freezer for up to two weeks. 

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