Health & Food

Thrifty Thursday: Homemade Spicy Fruit, Nut and Oat Bars (AMAZING!)

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Do you have any recipes/foods that you believe are so freaking amazing that you have actually considered selling them?  I do, and it’s my granola.

I know this is such a tease.  I’m talking about, and showing you my granola, but not giving you the recipe.  I’m purposefully trying to entice you, so when you see this on your grocery store shelves you think “I HAVE TO BUY THAT!”

When the mid-afternoon munchies come at me like a rabid beast, I know exactly where to go…my garage!  Why the garage? That’s where I store my granola.  It’s just so good that I can’t keep myself away from it when it’s too close to me (HINT: If you have a favorite food that you could mindlessly eat for hours on end, put it somewhere far away, like the garage, so you have to think before you dig in!).

Because I plan on selling my granola…..eventually (in my dreams really) I can’t give out the recipe. But here are the ingredients; 

Ingredients
Old Fashioned Oats
Puffed Rice
Peanut butter
Walnuts
Almonds
Molasses
Cinnamon
Cayenne

But since I don’t blog to disappoint, I will provide the recipe for my amazing granola bars. Nick gets a granola bar in his lunch every day.  Yes, I married a granola bar lover (and of course, I’m a lover myself. I could live off of granola and granola bars.  Toss me in the woods and leave me with a lifetime supply of granola and granola bars, and I’d be happy).

Have you noticed how expensive granola bars are these days? Have you noticed the nutrition facts? Many are loaded with added sugars, and not so many beneficial ingredients.  For this reason, I decided to come up with my own granola bar recipe.  I wanted my bar to have some fruit, protein, and whole grains, so this is what I came up with;

 Homemade Spicy Fruit, Nut, and Oat Bars

Ingredients

  • 4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 9 ounces prunes, pureed (~1-cup total, after pureed)
  • ¾ cup almond butter
  • ¾ cup peanuts
  • 3 Tbsp. molasses
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine the prunes, almond butter, and molasses in a bowl and put in microwave for about 15 seconds to get it soft. With clean hands, blend together the softened prune, almond butter and molasses.
  2. Combine the oats, peanuts, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne in a separate bowl.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the prune/almond butter/molasses mixture, and blend to combine (with clean hands).
  4. Add the mixture to a square pan, then put in the fridge for a few hours to allow to slightly harden, making it easier to cut them with a knife. (I actually use one of those brownie pans that is divided into squares already, and I cut them right away, while they are soft, then I put them in the fridge to harden so I can wrap them easily).
  5. Cut into 12 or 24 bars.

Notes

** These are not low FODMAPs . Dried fruits, especially prunes, should not be eaten often if you have issues with IBS (they contain the”P”, polyols). I can only handle a small amount of these bars at a time.

If you make them BIG (as in 1/12th of a batch), the calories are pretty high (but they are VERY filling!) This would be a perfect breakfast on the go, or post-workout snack.

Cut them in half to make them a bit lighter (1/24th of the batch). I like to eat them cut in half as part of a packed lunch (although for Nick’s lunch I give him a whole one)

Nutrition highlights; Low in sugar, compared to most granola bars, also a good source of iron and for the large ones a good (almost excellent!) source of fiber.  Let’s not forget the almost full serving of whole grain, and loads of plant-nutrients from the delicious prunes (you don’t have to be old to enjoy prunes, you know  )

Wrap them up and save them in the fridge or freezer.

INSTAGRAM!

And I’ll admit it, I’m just as addicted to these bars as I am to my granola.  Maybe I’ll sell these one day too.  Who knows.  But until then, make them, and love them, and get back to me so I can hear how much you enjoy them!  Oh, and P.S, don’t tell your kids or hubby, or whoever, that these are made with prunes. Nick loved these until I told him they were made with prunes. Darn it. He still eats them though

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