|Image from So Good and Tasty (link below)|
But after realizing that manufacturers put 4-5 different kind of refined sugars in the bars (not to mention other weird ingredients I have to google), I decided it couldn't be that hard to make my own. And it's not! Granola bars are super easy, because you're mainly just mixing wet and dry ingredients, and then packing them down into a baking dish. 10-15 minutes tops (plus baking time).
I have played around with many different recipes, and recently found one of the best. This super bar doesn't contain any added oils/fats, refined sugar (ok, so there's some in the cranberries and choc. chips...but at least not the amount you find in store bought versions), wheat, dairy or soy. And they taste really good! I got this recipe from So Good and Tasty, and here is the version we do:
2 ripe bananas
1/2 nut butter (natural peanut or almond)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Mash bananas with a fork, and then throw everything else in. Mix until a big, sticky mess. Press into the bottom of a baking dish sprayed with a bit of cooking oil (or use parchment paper). Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 and voila!
The thing I love about this recipe is that you can substitute almost any ingredient, or leave things out. You can use any kind of nut butter, any kind of chopped nuts, and any kind of seeds that you have lying around in your cupboards. You can also leave out the fruit, chocolate chips or coconut.
This will be one recipe we use again, even when we're not at the campground!