Coconut Granola Bars

Most of you are probably unaware, but I have been obsessively making various kinds of granola and protein bars for months. I have a serious addiction to NuGo Organic Double Dark Chocolate protein bars, which I have been trying to break for ages. Not only are they expensive and loaded with sugar, but I hate eating so much processed soy, and the ingredient list, despite being organic, is a mile long. But after searching and searching, and trying recipe after recipe, I could not find a single one worthy of sharing. It has been a frustrating endeavor to say the least! The problem, I think, is that I have an unrealistic set of expectations here – I am looking for a bar that tastes good, isn’t too annoying to make, includes lots of wholesome ingredients, and isn’t too high in sugar. And did I mention I’m not a fan of the fruit and nut style bar (like Lara bars), and that I don’t really like nut butters either? This is a problem in bar making because apparently the most popular binders are some form of sugar in large quantities (brown rice syrup, honey, etc), peanut butter, and dates, all of which I’ve pretty much eliminated. I started thinking that my perfect home made replacement was a pipe dream, unless, of course, I relaxed my standards a bit!

In a stroke of good luck, just as I was finishing the last NuGo bar in the box I swore was going to be the last, Martha Rose Shulman posted some recipes in the NY Times on healthy snacks for teenagers. Among them was a coconut granola bar recipe that actually had what I’d consider a reasonable amount of sugar for a bar! Unfortunately it requires a lot of steps, but in the interest of being open-minded, I decided to give it a try to see if the effort was even worth it. As it turns out, these are the best bars I have made yet! They do not crumble, aren’t bland, don’t have a weird taste from a weird ingredient (black bean chocolate protein bars anyone??), and even resemble real granola bars! In fact, they taste just like the Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey bars – crunchy, toasty, and sweet. I’d love to reduce the sugar a bit, but I think they probably won’t hang together. In the mean time, they are a nice afternoon treat when I am wanting something sweet that also has some wholesome ingredients to tide me over until my next meal!


2 Responses to Coconut Granola Bars

  1. david says:

    I have made this several times since your first post of it! I use almondsonly because I like them! Thanks for your Blog. I read it all the time. DZ

    • Alissa says:

      Thanks for the comment David, I’m so glad you like the bars (and my blog!). I have become partial to the Crunchy Nut Bars I posted after these because they come together so quickly, but thanks for the reminder that I should make these again soon 🙂

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