Chewy Cashew Almond Butter Granola Bars are easy to make, totally adaptable, and the best grab-and-go snack on the planet.
There are countless things I don’t even hesitate to make from scratch. Homemade pasta. From-scratch http://www.cookingforkeeps.com/best-chicken-noodle-soup-scratch/Chicken Noodle Soup. Way-better-than-storebought Firecracker Chex Mix. And pretty much any dessert you can imagine.
But granola bars?? Not so much. Even though I’ve always told myself I’d make them, I somehow find myself reaching for a box of fiber-packed granola bars almost every time I make a grocery store run. For me, the granola bar provides a great on-the-go option for breakfast or a snack, so taking the time to make them from scratch seemed to defeat the purpose of their grab-and-go status.
But as I was perusing the latest issue of Cooking Light, and reading up on their version of healthy granola bars, which seemed both highly adaptable and easy, I decided to skip reaching for the box at the grocery store and whip up a batch myself.
Not only do I love a recipe that’s easy and adaptable, but I REALLY love when I have all of the necessary ingredients on hand. The base — rolled oats, sweetener (honey, agave, or maple syrup), nut butter, oil and egg whites — are all ingredients I’m guessing most of you have in your fridge as well. And if you don’t, they’re easily accessible and relatively inexpensive.
Chewy Cashew Almond Butter Granola Bars
For my version, I decided to go with a semi-tropical spin with toasted unsweetened coconut, crispy banana chips and cashews. I had just ran out of honey, so I used agave syrup instead, but as mentioned, you can also use maple syrup or as Cooking Light suggests, brown rice syrup.
Almond butter serves double duty both as the nut butter used as well as the oil/fat, I just skimmed the oil off of the top, but really any nut butter will do. Peanut butter, cashew butter (since we’re using cashews), sunflower butter – whatever!
Also, I added in plenty of vanilla extract and an almost obscene amount of Maldon Salt. I’m kind of addicted to sweet and salty, and Maldon salt has these nice big chunks of salt that don’t blend in like a kosher sea salt would.
It’s an absolute must in these. And life in general. Buy it.
The best part about these, aren’t the fact that they’re ridiculously delicious or healthy, or portable, it’s that they are SO easy to make. Here’s how it goes down:
- Toast oats and coconut
- Chop cashews and banana chips
- Whisk almond butter, agave, and almond butter oil together in a bowl, microwave 30 seconds
- Add oats, coconut, cashews, banana chips, vanilla extract, egg white and salt to wet ingredients. Stir.
- Press into a parchment-lined pan.
- Bake and eat!
One of the most helpful tips I picked up from the article in Cooking Light, was to add an egg white to bind the ingredients. I’ve made granola bars a handful of times, and each time, the taste is great, but the sticky, chewy texture that store-bought granola bars have isn’t there.
I’m now certain the egg white was the missing piece, because these guys turned out perfectly chewy, soft and completely addictive.
I’m in love.
Actually, we’re all in love. It’s rare to find a healthy snack that my whole family loves, but honestly my whole family adores these, including my somewhat picky two-year-old toddler.
- Swap out cashews for peanuts or macadamia nuts
- Add in any type of dried fruit (dried pineapple would be delicious here)
- Use coconut oil instead of the almond oil
- Peanut butter, cashew or sunflower butter
- Add in ground flax or chia seeds for added nutrition
How to store:
Store in an airtight container for up to a week. Refrigerate for up to two weeks.
Tips and Tricks:
Use a sharp knife to the granola bars, and cut in fast, swift movements. For added decadence, drizzle with dark chocolate!
Chewy Cashew Almond Butter Granola Bars
These Chewy Cashew Almond Butter Granola Bars are packed with rolled oats, almond butter, nutty cashews, sweet banana chips, toasted coconut and plenty of flaked Maldon salt. They're the perfect on-the-go snack and SO easy to make!
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp shredded, unsweetened coconut
- 1 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp old fashioned oats
- 1/3 cup agave syrup
- 1/3 cup almond butter + 2 tbsp oil from the top of the almond butter
- 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup chopped roasted cashews
- 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup chopped banana chips (no added sugar)
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp flaked Malden sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a square baking dish with parchment paper.
Add coconut and oats to a baking sheet. Toast for 4-5 minutes.
While oats and coconut are toasting. Chop nuts and banana chips. Whisk agave, almond butter and oil together in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds.
Add oats, coconut, cashews, banana chips, vanilla and salt to the wet mixture. Fold with a spatula until combined. Press into prepared baking dish. Bake 15-18 minutes until golden brown. Rest until completely cooled, about 25 minutes. Cut into bars and serve! Store in airtight container.