Hello, granola-loving friends! Why would I make a low-sugar nutty granola bar? Honestly, my goal was to create a bar that would leave me satisfied without a sugar rush. I’ve eaten many bars that didn’t satisfy me, left me still hungry and a bit wired. Actually, after I’ve eaten them I wanted another. Yikes! And can you guess why? If you guessed because they were filled with sugar, you’re absolutely right. Eating a bar filled with unnecessary added sugar pretty much leads you to want more sugar.
My ideal granola bar fuels me up so I can carry on with the rest of my day. Bars that are packed with healthy fats keep you nutritional satisfied. This allows you to focus on your goals for the day without being distracted. In my experience, if I’ve had a sugary treat I have an extremely hard time engaging in a task. Hence, my low-sugar nutty granola bar creation.
Here’s the thing, granola bars do need a sweet component which is an important part of what holds the bars together. In a previous post I talked about my latest discovery fig paste. Blended soaked figs make an excellent glue which holds these granola bars together. Figs are also packed full of minerals and vitamins so it’s a nutrition win.
Let’s get to my recipe and method for making these low-sugar granola bars. Toasted almonds and walnuts provide the bulk and ground oats, pumpkin seeds and fig paste hold them together. If you don’t already have toasted almonds and walnuts start off toasting them in your oven or toaster oven. It doesn’t take long. Set your temp low, no higher than 300 degrees. Place the nuts on your baking pan evenly. On one layer. No oil or salt required. It takes just a few minutes. You’ll start to smell their nuttiness waft through your kitchen when ready. Not much longer than 10 minutes then set aside to cool.
Next, in your food processor, combine the oats and pumpkins and blend until fairly fine but not powdery. Add to the food processor the flax egg and fig paste and blend again. After a few seconds of blending the mixture will come together into a sticky paste.
In a large bowl mix together the toasted almonds, walnuts, coconut, cinnamon, lemon zest, and salt. Now you can add the wet oat and pumpkin mixture. This is the fun part. With your hands, really get in there and incorporate all the ingredients. It takes a bit of work to combine everything, it’s kind of therapeutic. You’ll know when it’s ready when the mixture sticks together easily.
Using your 8X8 baking dish or a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap press the mixture in until it’s approximately an inch thick. I used two loaf pans. I made sure to firmly pack the mixture down. You can use a spatula or a glass to flatten out as best you can.
Now using a sharp knife score your bars to your desired size. You can make them as big or small as you like. Cover with plastic wrap and put in your fridge or freezer to set. After approximately 30 minutes they firm up nicely. I then wrapped each bar individually and put all the bars into a container and pop them back into the freezer. I keep the bars stored in the freezer. Just let your people know where to grab them and before you know it the bars will be gone.
This low-sugar nutty granola bar holds together much better cold. When they warm up they do become a bit crumbly. Also, this recipe is totally open to add any dried fruit such as raisins or even chocolate so have fun with it. It’s a great base recipe to create your own variation.
I hope you enjoy my version of a low-sugar granola bar!
- 1 cup almonds, roasted
- 1 cup walnuts, roasted
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup oats, (I used large flake)
- 1 cup coconut, shredded
- 1/3 cup fig paste, (see link below for recipe)
- 1 tbsp flax seed, ground, (flax egg)
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp sea salt
- In a large bowl add the roasted almonds and walnuts along with the coconut, cinnamon, salt and lemon zest.
- Make your flax egg. In a small container add the water to the ground flax and give it a quick whisk. Set it aside for a few minutes so it can get all gelatinous.
- In your food processor fitted with the S blade add the oats and pumpkin seeds and process on high until the pumpkin seeds are finely ground.
- Now add your fig paste and flax egg to your food processor and crank it up to high. It won't take long for the mixture to form a sticky paste.
- Add the oat and pumpkin mixture to your nut mixture and get in there with your hands to incorporate. This is the therapeutic step of the recipe. Really spread the oat and pumpkin all over every nut.
- You should be able to squeeze a handful of the mixture and it holds firmly into a ball. Once you're happy with the texture it's time to transfer the mixture to an 8X8 baking dish or loaf pan lined with plastic wrap.
- Now you really get to use your muscles! Pack down the mixture really well. You can use your hands or even a the bottom of a glass to flatten out the granola.
- Now the mixture is packed down firmly score into bars. You can make whatever size you choose.
- Once scored cover the pan and let set in your fridge or freezer for approximately 30 minutes. This is a necessary step otherwise your bars won't hold together well.
- Now that they are all firm take you can lift the mixture out of your container and separate into bars.
- I wrap up my bars individually and keep stored in the fridge or freezer.
- 1 cup dried figs, soaked
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Pinch of sea salt
Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Add a wee bit of water if necessary. Your end result should be a thick paste.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 319