Sometimes there are good reason to avoid grains. It may be a medical condition or simply personal nutrition beliefs. However, kids do have a higher need for carbs and occasionally I do add grains into recipes I make for them.
This recipe for a hearty, soft granola bar is one of those recipes. It uses a base of rolled oats combined with dried fruits and nuts and the natural sweetness of bananas and a little honey as the binders. We all enjoy this chia seed energy bar recipe, but sometimes something a little different is nice.
Soft and Chewy Fruit and Nut Granola Bars
If you’re afraid of bananas too (a sign of good taste, in my opinion), rest easy… you really cannot taste the banana in this recipe! The banana acts as a binder and natural sweetener but doesn’t overpower.
Apricots and figs work well together (and add a nice golden color), but you can use this recipe as a base and substitute any fruit and nuts you like.
This recipe makes 12 generous granola bars. You can also double or triple the recipe and freeze the extras, or cut the bars into small bite-size squares.
Fruit and Nut Granola Bar Recipe
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork.
- Add the honey or maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
- Stir in the oats.
- Use a food processor or knife to chop the almonds.
- Add the almonds and dried fruit to the bowl and stir to combine.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan, spread evenly, and press to pack.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Cool and cut into bars.
A Note on Grains
I recommend avoiding grains (and sugar) if you have symptoms of an impaired digestive system. (Here’s why.) You can also soak and dehydrate your oats or buy them sprouted in improve digestibility and up the protein.
What’s your favorite granola bar recipe? Please share!
Other Granola Bar Recipes
- Chia Seed Energy Bars
- Chocolate Coconut Energy Bars
- Grain-Free Coconut Granola