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Chewy Low-Fat Granola Bars

March 13, 2012

I may or may not have made mention before of this but I don’t diet.  I don’t believe in dieting.  In fact, anything with the word die in it I try to avoid.  Dying my hair, nope not anymore.  I try to maintain a balance when it comes to my food intake.  If I over consume something one day I try to balance it out the next with something healthy.  I believe in moderation.  I find this approach works for me.  I could never count calories, it is far to much work.  I find that the best weight loss strategy is to set realistic goals for yourself and then give yourself equally realistic timelines to fulfill those goals.  A lot of people start a weight loss journey and they have all of their best intentions at hand but when they do not see the results they had imagined they lose interest.  It can be discouraging but if you allow yourself to reach the goals in the appropriate amount of time you will see positive result which will give you the motivation to continue to succeed.  I am no expert but this works for me and it may work for you, too.

These low-fat granola bars were a treasure to find.  They are chewy AND healthy!  Yes, a granola bar that is actually good for you 🙂  This granola bar has no flour, no oil, and no sugar (refined).  I know, you are reading this, thinking, ‘ha, yeah right.’  It is true.  It is sweetened naturally with applesauce and bananas which also act as the binding agent.  The good news doesn’t stop there though.  There is flax, sunflower seeds, toasted pecans, and my very favorite chia seeds.

Are you familiar with chia seeds?  “They are a secret weapon if you really want to lose weight without starving.  Chia seeds are tiny, healthy seeds that may be made to taste like whatever you want.  Their unique gelling action keeps you feeling full for hours. Hunger is a main enemy of real weight loss, and you don’t want to fight it with unhealthy means. When a chia seed is exposed to water, it forms a coating of gel, increasing its size and weight. Since the gel made of water, it has no calories. It’s also difficult to remove from the seed, meaning that it helps your body think it is full, without adding calories!”  Basically, they expand in your belly keeping you full for a long time.  Chia seeds are higher in anti-oxidants than blueberries.  For me this is awesome because now I don’t have to worry about what berries are in season in order to get my anti-oxidants.  You know the saying, “All good things come in small packages” well its true 🙂

Chewy Low-Fat Granola Bars
Ingredients

        3 1/2 cup oats
3/4 cup roughly chopped pecans
3 large, ripe bananas
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, shelled
1 teaspoon ground chia seed
2 tablespoons ground flax seed

To Prepare

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, with about 1 inch of parchment paper overlapping the sides.
Spread out the oats and chopped pecans on a baking sheet. Place in the oven until they are lightly toasted, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with the back of a fork. Stir in applesauce until combined.
Transfer the oats and pecans to a large bowl and stir in dried cranberries, ground flax seed, sunflower seeds, chia seeds and cinnamon.
Stir the banana mixture into the oat mixture until well combined and starting to clump together. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and press down evenly.
Bake until the bars are golden brown and starting to separate from sides of the pan, about 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan. Let cool to room temperature, then cut into bars.
Serve or store in an airtight container.

Makes 24 bars
Adapted From Cookin’ Canuck
Other Sources My Chia Seed

Granola bars are an excellent snack if you are on a weight loss plan but only if you know exactly what is in them.  Granola bars that you purchase from the store are refined and processed which usually means they are loaded with sugar and other unnatural components.  If you are trying to lose weight the best thing you can do for yourself is prepare all of your own food from scratch this way you will know exactly what you are eating.

Not interested in losing weight check out these less healthy Homemade Granola Bars.

From our kitchen to yours,
Sydney Jones

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. March 13, 2012 2:43 pm

    Fabulous! I was waiting for this one – my weekend project among other things…these look and sound wonderful!

  2. March 13, 2012 2:59 pm

    I love the way you have presented these bars – they look delicious 😀

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Rich Sticky Date Pudding w/ Butterscotch Sauce

  3. March 13, 2012 4:01 pm

    Sydney, I’m so glad you enjoyed the granola bars! I’ll have to add chia seeds into my next batch.

    • March 13, 2012 5:50 pm

      They were an amazing find! I love how the sweetness of the bananas satisfies my sweet tooth 🙂 Thanks Dara!!

  4. March 13, 2012 4:12 pm

    Well, Sawsan! Who knew chia seeds could pack such a healthful punch?! Not I! But I’ve learned a thing or two here and plan to try your oh-so-pretty healthy little bars! so nicely photographed!

    • March 13, 2012 5:52 pm

      Those wee seeds sure do pack a healthful punch perfect for keeping spring colds at bay. Thank you Spree 🙂

  5. March 13, 2012 8:09 pm

    I love chia seeds and sometimes mix them with almond milk to make a pudding..I love your blog and thanks for stopping by Foodness Gracious!
    Take care..

  6. March 14, 2012 8:27 am

    Chia seeds? I have not heard of them before. However, I do use flax seeds in many recipes. Love your photography

    • March 14, 2012 1:36 pm

      Yeah, just like the chia pet!? Same seeds. You should try incorporating them into your diet, they are amazing 🙂 Thank you!

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