Hey there! I’m Jen Hansard of SimpleGreenSmoothies.com, where I create tasty plant-based recipes to help you and your family fuel your passions.
Granola Bars of My Childhood
I grew up on Nature’s Valley granola bars; my dad would get the Costco size, and between the 5 of us, they would be gone in a week. We were always on the go and needed something quick to grab! Now I’m in the same boat with my own kids—gymnastics, baseball, church, friends, orthodontist, road trips, hikes, etc…we’ve always got something fun to run to—which is why I decided it was ’bout time to create my own family-friendly granola bar for my new cookbook, Simple Green Meals.
How It All Started with a Green Smoothie
How did I make the leap from packaged granola bars to making my own? Well, it all started with a daily green smoothie. Yet not just any smoothie, it was a special one that tasted amazing and my kids would drink too. We call it Beginner’s Luck Green Smoothie. I made this every single day to keep our immune systems strong, and I quickly saw my energy levels soar. It was through this daily habit that I began to crave healthier foods. So I began swapping out my go-to foods like Lucky Charms and bean burritos for fresh vegetable dishes—and I actually enjoyed it. I had primed my body for healthy, fresh food with a daily green smoothie, and the journey has been incredible!
Homemade Plant-Based Granola Bars
The plant-powered recipe I wanted to share with 100 Days of Real Food readers is a delicious and nutritious snack on the go. Healthy choices should be quick, tasty, and a winner for the whole family, right? Well, these homemade granola bars are right there for ya! They are also delicious lightly toasted with some almond butter on top and a drizzle of honey. Bon appetit!
Maple Almond Granola Bars
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats gluten-free
- 1/2 cup almond flour (or almond meal)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil melted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon ground
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- pinch nutmeg ground
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease an 8 x 8-inch baking pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, almond meal or flour, almonds, maple syrup, raisins (if using), almond butter, chia seeds, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Press the mixture into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until lightly golden on the edges. Let cool completely in the pan.
- Cut into 8 rectangles. They will keep for about 1 week if wrapped well and stored in a cool place.
For more simple, plant-powered recipes the entire family will love, check out my new book Simple Green Meals.