Quinoa Chia and everything else that will get stuck in your teeth Granola Bars

It’s been ten months since my last blog post. Forgive me reader (singular on purpose…Hi Mommy!) for I have just finished a massive one year renovation of my home, and was simultaneously training to climb Kilimanjaro (summited August 10th! Can you we say hell yeah!). But I am back in my home, Kili behind me and reenergized to share some of my favorite recipes with you.

Let’s talk granola bars. The store bought ones deserve all the bad rap they get. They really do. They are loaded with sugar, contain barely any fiber, have negligible protein and let’s face it are so antiquated since the advent of the ubiquitous protein/energy bar. But here’s the deal, if made by you they can really pack a nutritional punch because you get to choose what you want in them. The basic formula is:

-Gluten Free Oats as your base
-your favorite nuts
-your favorite dried fruit (cherries, apricots, chopped dates, raisins, goji berries etc)
-a bunch of seeds (bring on the dental floss) like chia, sesame, hemp, poppy, sunflower, flax

-honey/agave/maple syrup/brown rice syrup to sweeten

Then you need something to keep it all together so your bars stay bars and don’t crumble into just granola -you know the kind you sprinkle on yogurt.

-I used natural peanut butter and two eggs

****And by the way, that is literally the WORST thing that can happen: granola bar fail = just granola. Problem? No problem.

Here goes

Preheat oven to 325
Ingredients

1 cup natural peanut butter or almond butter
3/4 cup honey, agave, maple syrup or brown rice syrup
2 eggs

2 cups Gluten Free Oats
1 cup raw quinoa
1 cup dried fruit (cherries, cranberries, roughly chopped apricots or dates)
3/4 cup pumpkin seed
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (optional)
1/2 cup hemp heart
1/4 cup chia seeds

1 tbs cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract

In a microwave safe bowl heat the honey and nut butter so that they can become liquid enough to be well combined (about 1 minute). In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients except for the eggs. Add the honey/nut butter and stir well to combine.

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In the same bowl you mixed the nut butter and honey (why dirty another bowl) give the eggs a quick scramble and pour over the oat mix and mix well to fully combine and moisten the mixture.

Cover a rimmed baking pan (9×13) with parchment paper. Pour the granola mixture onto the paper and press down evenly across the pan with the back of the spatula.

Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Let the bars cool completely in the pan before cutting. Individually wrap in plastic. Can be refrigerated up to a week or freeze for up to a month.

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That’s it. I am definitely taking one of these on my next hike in Vail.

Hugs, enjoy and always let your taste buds soar!

Maria (987)

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