Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Great Green Granola Energy Bars

Abiline loves granola, which is wonderful because my wee little lassie needs dense foods like that; you can pack a lot of nutrition into granola. At Whole Foods they sell a green granola in the bulk section that goes for $11 a pound. Abbie loves green foods, so I have been tempted to try it, but there is really no justifying spending that kind of money on cereal.  So, here is my try at making my own green granola, complete with avocado, spirulina, limes, kiwi, pumpkin seeds, and hemp seeds. What did I leave out that's green? Spinach?  That just seemed like it would make everything soggy.  But, if you dare, go ahead and throw that in, too!  First I made the granola, which tasted great with some coconut milk on it, but was a bit too avocado-y for me when eaten out of hand.  Really, it tasted great before I baked it, so if you want to enjoy it raw, please dig in. I decided to turn the baked granola into bars that I could take on the go, and those I found to be quite more-ish right from the pan. I just love when healthy food is yummy; it makes me feel that God really loves us and made a way for us to be both happy and healthy too.

For the granola:
3 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup raw, shelled pumpkin seeds (or half pumpkin and half hemp seeds)
1/2 cup crushed banana chips (optional)
3 Tbsp. vegan protein powder (optional) 
1 medium, very ripe avocado
3 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/4 cup brown rice syrup or agave nectar
3 Tbsp. dry sweetener, such as coconut sugar or sucanat

1 tsp. spirulina (Next time I think I would use 2 tsp. to enhance the greenish hue.)
pinch of sea salt
juice and zest of 2 limes

For the granola bars
2 1/2 cups of the prepared granola
1/2 cup of raw, shelled hemp seeds
2 very ripe kiwis, peeled
juice and zest of 2 limes
1 Tbsp. agave nectar

1. To make the granola, preheat the oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds (I crushed mine a bit in the food processor first, but you can leave them whole if you like), protein powder, and banana chips.
2. In a food processor, blend together the avocado flesh, coconut oil, sweeteners, spirulina, salt, and lime zest and juice. Pour the liquid over the oat mixture and stir to evenly coat. At this point you can just stash it in the fridge and eat as is.  If you want it crunchy, spread the granola out onto a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 mins, stir, and then bake for 10-15 minutes longer, until starting to brown up.  Let cool.
3. To make the bars, preheat the oven to 350, oil a 9 inch square baking pan, and place 2 1/2 cups of the granola in it.  In your food processor, blend the hemp seeds, kiwis, lime juice and zest, and agave nectar until totally smooth. Pour the hemp-kiwi mixture over the granola in the pan and stir to evenly coat. Press the mixture down with the back of your spoon. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Let the bars cool completely before you cut them.

This recipe is posted on Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays , Allergy-Friendly Lunchbox Love, Whole Foods Wednesdays, Wellness Weekend and Allergy-Friendly Fridays.

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