Those nutty do-it-yourself granola bars will make you surprise why you even hassle with the store-bought type

Granola bars look like the MVP of snacks. No longer simplest are they downright scrumptious, however most significantly, you’ll be able to toss one to your bag to have available whilst you’re out and about. However don’t be fooled by way of the selling and packaging into pondering that every one granola bars are inherently wholesome. Many store-bought choices come with some questionable substances in addition to lots of added sugar. As Sarah Adler, a diet trainer, wholesome way of life skilled, cookbook writer, and founding father of Merely Actual Well being issues out, a poorly-chosen granola bar can finally end up making you are feeling hungrier slightly than supplying you with gasoline to get you in your subsequent meal. No longer cool. 

The other: do-it-yourself granola bars. They’re more uncomplicated to make than you’d assume, and going the DIY direction comes with a couple of perks that you just don’t get with the store-bought type. For one, you already know what substances are to your granola bars, and thus can tailor them in your tastes and desires (and skip the boat-loads of sugar.) Plus, you’ll be able to meal prep them over the weekend, wrap them up in parchment paper and tie a work of ribbon round your bars if you wish to cause them to Pinterest-worthy, after which pop them within the freezer, making your snack of selection simple to take hold of whilst you’re operating out the door. 

Those causes are what impressed Adler to create an upgraded model of a do-it-yourself granola bar. Her model stars nuts and apricots, either one of which can be filled with dietary price and can stay you complete as they will have to. “[The bars are] stuffed with stabilizing herbal protein from nuts and seeds, a dose of omega-Three fatty acids, and wholesome fats from walnuts to stay you complete,” she says. “Plus a marginally of herbal sweetness from the coconut and honey, and the wanted minerals from the pinch of sea salt. You’ll by no means be tempted by way of the packaged variations once more.” They’re additionally gluten-free—a difficult factor to search out amongst conventional granola bar choices.

For those who don’t steadily stay a few of these substances available, Adler suggests blending up the dried fruit and nut combo relying on what you have already got to your pantry. (Dried cherries and pistachios, someone?) “For the most efficient texture, the trick is the use of two other types of dried fruit, no less than two other types of nuts, and a few kind of seeds,” she says. If you wish to get fancy, you’ll be able to upload in some chocolate chips or cocoa nibs, too, for a chocolatey pop. Oh, and did we point out, there’s no baking required? 

Learn on for Adler’s complete sweet-and-salty do-it-yourself granola bars recipe, plus recommendations on what to search for in case you do move the store-bought direction.

Photograph: Carina Skrobecki / Sarah Adler

Vanilla apricot do-it-yourself granola bars

Yields eight to 10 bars

Elements

2 cups cashews
1 cup walnuts
1 cup dried apricots
1 cup massive coconut flakes
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt

1. Soften honey.

2. Chop cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and apricots—tough or high-quality, relying to your most popular texture.

Three. Upload all the substances right into a blending bowl and blend till well-combined the use of a silicone spatula. 

four. Upload combination to a medium parchment-lined sq. baking dish and press down calmly with the again of the spatula. 

five. Pop the combination within the freezer for no less than one hour. 

6. Take away from the freezer and reduce into bars or cubes. 

7. Retailer within the refrigerator till able to devour.

What if I don’t have time to make do-it-yourself granola bars?

For those who’re in a time crunch (we get it, lifestyles will get busy) and go for store-bought granola bars, there are a few things you’ll be able to glance out for to be sure you take hold of a bar that’s scrumptious and going to stay you complete and happy.

The very first thing is sugar. Granola bars frequently have means an excessive amount of sugar—whether or not it’s simply from the use of lots of attempted fruit or from added sugar resources—and labels can sneakily cover sugar as issues that seem to sound healthy (taking a look at you, brown rice syrup!). To stay issues wholesome, Melissa O’Shea, MS, RD, the nationwide director of diet at Exhale Spa, recommends on the lookout for a bar with 8 grams of sugar or much less in keeping with serving. 

Oils are some other factor to be wary of on component labels. Retailer-bought granola bars generally tend to include hydrogenated oils, that have prime saturated fats ranges that aren’t just right for center well being. Search for more fit oil choices comparable to avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil. You might also spot fillers comparable to processed soy protein isolate on substances lists, which is able to motive disappointed stomachs in some folks. 

Different granola bar laws of thumb to remember: Search for fiber (no less than 4 grams in keeping with serving), no less than 8 grams of protein, and make certain that one bar equals one serving measurement. (You’ll be stunned at what number of are in fact two servings!)

Regardless of which direction you select—do-it-yourself or store-bought—you’re already in a greater place to battle off the ones hangry emotions with a in reality wholesome, pleasurable snack. Actually, what’s higher than that?

Need some healthier snack intel? Listed here are the meals a dietitian all the time snags when she is going to Dealer Joe’s: 

Searching for different tasty, wholesome recipes? Listed here are the veggie-forward dinners that docs swear by way of. And take a look at those wintry weather dinner concepts if you happen to’re becoming bored of your go-to soup recipe.

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