Every mother has heard it. No sooner is the mad rush of breakfast over, the next question is: What have I got in my snack box? Fruit, of course, and sometimes carrot sticks or sliced peppers. But children also need something that provides long-lasting energy in their snacks.
Granola bars come in a range of tastes and provide a good energy boost. However, the industrial versions sold in supermarkets should be regarded with caution and are often not welcome in kindergarten and school. And for good reason. Many industrial bars contain a lot of industrial sugar or sweetener and hydrogenated fats such as palm oil – a combination that boosts blood sugar for a short time, but then hunger soon sets in again.
The healthy alternative is home-made granola bars. These bars are sweetened, if at all, with honey, agave syrup or maple syrup. Often the natural sweetness of the dried fruit is sufficient. This makes the bar a nutritious snack for children – and also for adults. The home-made granola bars provide long-lasting energy when you're out doing sport or a hike. And all in a wide range of tastes without artificial flavouring.
The basis for almost all granola bars is oats, nuts, dried fruit, chia seeds and flaxseed. Once you have these ingredients, little more investment is needed. However, making energy bars isn't only good for your wallet. If you start with a clear list of ingredients, you soon notice that granola bars are quick and easy to make. Home-made energy bars also stay fresh in the fridge for four days.
Three different recipes
Classic bar with dried fruit
- 100g raisins, unsweetened cranberries or other dried fruit
- 35g butter
- 2-4 tbsp. honey, according to taste
- 150g oats
- optional: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- seeds of 1 vanilla pod
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 °C.
- Mix the dry ingredients and fruit.
- Gently heat the butter, cinnamon and vanilla and cook slowly for a few minutes to allow the flavours to develop.
- Mix all the ingredients together, place in a silicon mould and press flat.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 170 °C.
- Cut into bars while still warm.
Protein bar with quark and oats
- 350g skimmed quark
- 150g fine oats
- 100g rough oats
- 3 eggs
- 30g flaxseed
- 1 tbsp. honey or agave syrup
- 3 chopped dates
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 °C.
- Mix and knead all the ingredients. Place the mixture into a silicon mould.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 170 °C.
Most recipes for home-made protein bars contain whey protein or a plant-based alternative. If you wish to raise the protein content of your bars, you can add ‘artificial’ protein.
Exotic bar with bananas, amaranth and coconut
- 220g oats
- 50g puffed amaranth (a gluten-free grain)
- 100g nuts (almonds, pecan nuts, walnuts)
- 100g cranberries
- 25g coconut flakes
- 40g hemp protein or another protein powder
- 2 tbsp. flaxseed or chia seeds
- 6 tbsp. water
- 2 tbsp. virgin coconut oil
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- a pinch of vanilla powder or the content of half a pod
- a pinch of salt
- Mix the flaxseed with the water and place aside for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. Roughly chop the nuts and place in a bowl with the other dry ingredients. Pre-heat the oven to 175 °C.
- Blend the bananas, coconut oil, honey or maple syrup, flaxseed mixture and vanilla in a mixer.
- Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well with a spatula. The mixture should not be too runny. If it is, add some oats or amaranth until the mixture has a thicker consistency.
- Put the mixture into the silicone mould and spread it to a thickness of approx. 1.5cm.
- Bake the granola bars for approx. 20 to 25 minutes until the edges are brown.
- Use honey, agave syrup, maple syrup or concentrated pear juice
- Replace raisins with other dried fruits according to preference
- First let the bars cool in the mould before taking them out, otherwise they will quickly crumble
- Press the granola mixture down well before placing in the oven – this will keep the mass compact
- Sugar caramelises during baking and this is what keeps the mass together. If you find your granola bars quickly crumble, you can also add sugar. Alternative: finely chopped dried fruit.