These bars are bursting with flavor and nutrition. Oats are packed with healthy soluble fiber (just ½ cup gives us 20 percent of our daily recommendation). The flax seed adds omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidant-rich plant lignans. And it seems like we learn new nutritional benefits of coconut every day. This recipe includes coconut flakes and coconut oil—the combined benefits include everything from protection from bacteria, viruses and fungi to blood sugar control and metabolism-boosting abilities. For more healthy snack ideas, see the original article, Healthy Convenience Foods: Quick-Fix and Make-Ahead Snacks.
Oat Coconut Granola Bars Recipe
• 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
• 1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
• 1 tablespoon oat flour (Buy it or simply grind oats in a coffee grinder, blender or food processor.)
• 1/2 cup ground flax seed (If you don’t buy the flax seed already ground, you can easily grind it yourself just like the oat flour above.)
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1⁄3 cup coconut oil, melted
• 1⁄3 cup honey
• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
• 3 tablespoons mashed banana (about 1 medium banana)
• 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1. In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut, oat flour, flax seed, pecans and salt. Stir everything until well combined. Set aside.
2. Pour coconut oil and honey into a microwave-safe bowl, and cook for 20 seconds, stirring after 10 seconds, until thin. Stir in vanilla and mashed banana.
3. Pour coconut oil mixture into dry ingredients and stir until a dough forms. Mix in the chocolate chips.
4. Line an 8-by-8-inch dish with parchment paper. Scoop dough into dish and press firmly to fit. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Cut into 12 bars. Wrap individually in parchment paper and store in the fridge for up to 1 week. Makes 12 granola bars.
—Adapted from robinsbite.com