I’m always looking for healthy breakfast recipes and healthy snack ideas, especially ones that get my son eating something he doesn’t normally eat on a regular basis. And I am particularly in love with these flourless, naturally sweetened homemade granola bars that I threw together using ingredients that I already had in my pantry.
Made with oats and tahini paste, these homemade granola bars are nutrient-dense and a perfect healthy breakfast bar to start your day or to cut into squares as a healthy snack for at home or on the go.
Choosing a quality tahini paste
Tahini paste, made from sesame seeds, can be a very healthy and delicious source of healthy fats, protein and calcium. However there are a lot of variation in the nutrient-density of different brands of tahini paste that you find in grocery stores, so it is important to read the labels when you are buying it. You’ll want to look for organic tahini paste made from 100% sesame seeds, and if possible you should look for tahini made from the whole sesame seed and not just shelled seeds. It is also important to check the calcium levels – a low quality tahini paste will have something close to 200 or 300 mg calcium (per serving) while a high quality sesame paste will have over 800 mg of calcium per serving.
Making Your Homemade Granola Bars Gluten-Free?
If you keep a gluten-free diet, or are making these for someone who eats gluten-free, This is just as true of any sort of free-from diet for that matter – please be sure to check all packages to make sure that the ingredients you are using are free of contamination and be wary of buying nuts, seeds, oats, and dried fruits from bulk bins without first talking to the store manager to understand their storing practices and if they use flour to control moisture.
Ready to get started?
The best thing about this recipe is you can play with it to adapt it to your dietary restrictions as well as what you have in the cupboard, so don’t be afraid to get creative with substitutions! Don’t have cranberries but have raisins? Allergic to almonds but you can eat walnuts? Mix up your basic ingredients, then grab a spoonful and add in a small amount of the dry fruits/nuts/seeds that you’re considering and take a bite to see if you like it!
Too healthy for you? We’ve got something to satisfy your sweet tooth. I bet you can’t eat just one of these delicious vegan chocolate chip cookies
- 1½ cups rolled oats (I used thick oats, but quick oats would also work)
- 1 cup tahini paste
- ½ + 1 tbsp maple syrup (or silan; increase this to ¾ cup if you have a sweet tooth)
- ¼ cup unsweetened grated coconut
- 6 tbsp dried cranberries
- 5 tbsp slivered almonds or crushed walnuts (leave out to make nut-free)
- 4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 4 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 4 tbsp hemp seeds
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips, cacao nibs, or carob nibs
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C.
- Line a baking sheet or 8" baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
- Transfer the mixture to the baking sheet, distributing evenly across ⅔ of the surface.
- Using a square of parchment paper (between your hand and the mixture), press the mixture into a flat, dense, evenly thick bar (aim for about 1 cm thick), paying attention to the corners and edges to make sure that they are firmly pressed.
- Bake in the oven for 12-14 min for a chewy breakfast bar (bake for 16 min for a crunchy bar)
- Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting into bars or squares.
- Store in the fridge in an airtight container.
This post was included in Allergy-Free Thursdays.