Saturday, 2 February 2013

Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

When you choose to start eating in a more healthful way, the keys are planning and preparation. Grocery shopping can be overwhelming at first as you become conscious of the ingredient labels while still trying to find the best deals on food that can be a little more expensive. But stick with it! Before long you'll be able to plan, prepare and keep to your budget like a pro! I've said it before...it takes time, but it is time well spent when you can be confident that your family is being nourished in the best possible way.

I want to encourage you to start simple with one substitution ingredient, even if it's just replacing some sugar with unsweetened applesauce. I didn't get to where I am overnight and you won't either, but don't get discouraged. It's like with any life change...once you realize what you can do, the possibilities are endless and I guarantee that if you keep at it you will discover wonderful things and you WILL NOT feel deprived!

The first recipe that I want to share is a great grab-and-go snack that is great to have on hand and it also incorporates a variety of the ingredient substitutions I use on a regular basis and therefore is a great starting place: Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars!



can't even remember where I originally obtained this recipe because I have changed it numerous times, trying out different ingredients and trying to get the right consistency. This recipe is the one I use consistently now and it never disappoints! Feel free to make it your own with extra nuts or other add ins. This is gluten free and refined sugar free and if you omit the chocolate chips (or make your own) then this can be dairy free as well. The possibilities are endless...just have fun experimenting!

For this and all of my recipes, I will list the ingredients I use, but will include the regular ingredients that they are replacing. Feel free to make it your own creation!


Ingredients:


1/2 Avocado (Replacing 1/4 c butter)
1 c Unsweetened Applesauce (Replacing granulated sugar and butter)
1 tsp Vanilla extract 
1/3 c Raw honey
1/3 c Palm sugar (Replacing Brown sugar)
1 tsp Baking soda
3 c Gluten-free Rolled Oats (Or regular Oats)
2 c Gluten-free Brown Rice Krispies (Or regular Rice Krispies)
1/2 c Mini Chocolate Chips
(My latest grain mixture has been 2 c oats, 2 c rice crispies and 1 c puffed quinoa...excellent!)

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and spray a 13x9" casserole dish with non stick cooking spray.
Mix all dry ingredients together except for chocolate chips.
Mix all wet ingredients together.
Combine all ingredients then stir in chocolate chips.
Spread mixture evenly in the casserole dish and place in oven.
Bake for 22-25 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove and let sit for about 10 minutes before cutting.
Cut into bars and let cool completed before removing from baking dish.




would love to hear your success stories with this and any of my recipes. If you've tried anything different, post it in the comments so others can try and don't forget to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Keep tuning in for more recipes, tips and videos! Until next time...

Treat yourself well,