May 12, 2014

Almond Flaxseed Yogurt "Granola" Bars

Almond Flaxseed Yogurt "Granola" BarsEnergy bars, granola bars, breakfast bars, protein bars, the grocery store aisles are full of them.
However, the majority tastes like artificial flavoring (ugh, fake chocolate and PB!), chalk, and misery.
Plus, they all have a way of “looking” healthy no matter their chemical/y flavor profiles and suspect textures.
To be honest, it’s actually pretty rare to find energy bars that are healthy AND tasty.
I, for instance, like Larabars. Each one has between 2 and 9 ingredients, all of which are whole organic foods like fruits and nuts.
Okay, I suppose the few with chocolate aren't "whole" foods in the strict sense (there must be some processing going on there), but here's the thing about Larabars: they actually taste pretty good.
Like fruits and nuts (except the lemon bar; I had it once and it really grossed me out.)
Oh yeah, because - and you probably already know this - I only eat things that taste awesome. I am not interested in bland, gross energy bars. Not worth it.
(Just to be clear, I haven’t received any money nor products to review from Larabars. I just like ‘em so much, I thought you should know!)

Almond Flaxseed Yogurt "Granola" BarsBut you know what are really the best energy bars ever? The one you make yourself. 
...And when I say Ever, I mean EVER.
Especially when you make a granola bar that tastes like granola but it’s in fact granola (quotes intended)
I’ve been living and breathing these “granola” bars for about a week now, and as I’m typing this I’m already plotting to make a new batch tonight.
I maybe should have been making eggplant Parmesan or some veggie burgers, but “granola” bars are WHERE IT’S AT.
Almond Flaxseed Yogurt "Granola" BarsThese “granola” bars are a drama-free zone.
No fuss, gluten-free, paleo-friendly, low sugar, stuffed full of goodness bars. They are awesome for a snack, perfect for breakfast on the run, will fit in your gym bag, and are pretty much dope.
Really the best.
One last note about the yogurt coating. I did it because I wanted to try it. It’s absolutely fantastic but a bit of work (okay, more like a lot.)
So feel free to skip it. The “granola” bars will still be awesome.

Almond Flaxseed Yogurt “Granola” Bars Print this recipe! 
Yogurt coating adapted from HalfBakedHarvest


Ingredients
Makes 12 bars

“Granola” Bars

3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil 
2 cups / 7.8 oz / 220 gr almond meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
½ cup / 3.2 oz / 90 gr flaxseeds 
1 cup almonds
¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
⅓ cup / 4 oz / 113 gr raw organic honey 
2 tablespoon raw coconut palm sugar (I used Madhava)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup / 2.25 oz / 64 gr +70% dark chocolate chips (I used Scharffen Berger)

Yogurt coating

1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon gelatin (I used Great Lakes)
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
Pinch salt
1 ½ cup raw coconut palm sugar (I used Madhava)
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder

Directions

Granola Bars

Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C) and place a rack in the middle.  Line a 9x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Melt coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add almond meal and toast, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes until lightly darkened (being careful of not letting it burn).
Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add flax seeds, almonds and salt and stir to combine. Set aside.
Combine honey, coconut sugar and vanilla extract in the pan in which you toasted the almond meal.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce to a simmer and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Pour over the almond meal mixture and stir until it is evenly distributed over the mixture.
Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then stir in chocolate chips (the chocolate chips will partially melt and act as a binding agent.)
Scrape mixture into the pan and spread evenly.
Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes (do not allow to brown).
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

Yogurt coating

To make the yogurt coating, place the coconut sugar and arrowroot into a food processor (or blender) and powder the sugar starting on low speed and gradually work your way up to the highest speed. It will take a few minutes to powder the sugar. You can start and stop the machine if you need to. Just don't open the lid or you will have powdered sugar floating everywhere in the air. Keep blending the sugar until it is all powdered and light brown in color. Keep the lid on for a few minutes to let it settle to the bottom. Set aside.
In a small dish combine water and vanilla. Spread the gelatin over top and whisk with a fork until the gelatin is evenly distributed in the liquid. Set aside for at least 5 minutes. It will set into a thick paste.
In another bowl whisk Greek yogurt, honey and salt. Microwave on high in 5 seconds bursts, stirring between each burst, until the yogurt is liquidy and warm to the touch. Don’t let it start to boil or it will curdle.
Whisk gelatin mixture into yogurt mixture until completely dissolved. Scrape the yogurt mixture into a small mixing bowl. Pour the coconut powdered sugar on top. Whisk gently until the yogurt and powdered sugar combine into a thick, but pourable, frosting.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Working with one bar at a time, dip the bottom of the bar into the yogurt and allow any excess to drip off. Flip the bars over so the yogurt coated side faces up and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bars.
Let the bars sit, uncovered, until dry to the touch, for at least 4 hours.
Cover the remaining yogurt coating with plastic wrap until ready to use again.
Once the bars are completely dry, flip them over so the yogurt coated side is now facing down.
Take the remaining yogurt  and with a wooden spoon drizzle the remaining coating over the bars and allow the bars to sit at least two hours or overnight.
Once the bars are completely dry, store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Nutrition facts

One bar (with the yogurt coating) yields 266 calories, 19 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbs and 8 grams of protein.

Pin It!

17 comments:

  1. Homemade granola bars are dabombdotcom - and these look AH-MAZING! Love that yogurt coating, it is a bit of work - but does look mouthwatering! Thanks for making me hungry AFTER i just finished breakfast! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Homemade energy/granola bars are my favorite, and that yogurt topping takes them right over the top! I can't even stomach most of the packaged ones, always some weird stale 'healthy' flavor!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know right? Homemade bars are where it's at!

      Delete
  3. Ridiculously tasty looking, and healthy? I was looking for something like this over the weekend and now I can stop looking. Making these bad boys for sure. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Please, please, Mike's amazing looking Yogurt Coated Granola Bar, appear right in front of me at once! I think I badly need you right now and you would soooo make my day!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Looks so amazing!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I live the way these look Mike, great that you coated these with a yogurt topping. I too love the Larabar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Larabar are soooo good Cheri, there's no point denying that! ;)

      Delete
  7. I haven't made granola bars in so long and was just searching for a way back into it, so it's lucky I found your blog! I love the simplicity of the bar, and that yogurt coating sounds so droolworthy. Thanks for sharing this :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm telling you Ala, the yogurt coating is a bit of work but totally worth it!

      Delete
  8. So are you going to start packaging these up and selling them? Because they definitely blow a ton of other BARS on the market OUT OF THE WATERRRRR!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! My friend Guy from London just called me to say exactly the same thing. Maybe I should seriously consider it. You wanna chip in this business venture? ;)

      Delete
  9. I love making my own granola bars, but your version is much healthier. Cause you know I had to up the calories by adding a little Nutella in there! LOL!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Dude nice looking bars! I'll definitely need these for all the running I'm doing.... ugh, yea, let's go with that. All the running I'm doing, hahahahah.

    ReplyDelete