Before going low carb, my girlfriend used to take a Nature Valley granola bar to work every day. Once we started learning about food and nutrition, it quickly became clear that these bars are like CANDY! 29g or so per bar was way too high to fit our newly adopted way of eating so I set about looking for a low carb alternative. Not wanting to spend a fortune on specialty low carb bars I decided to work on making my own. This recipe has been significantly influenced by THIS ONE on Mark’s Daily Apple. Other than doubling the recipe, I skip the step of roasting the almonds, pecans, and coconut (I really don’t think it needs it, but try both recipes and be the judge) and I substitute peanut butter for almond butter (’cause I just plain like peanut butter better!).
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- 2 8″x4″ loaf pans
- 1 cup whole almonds (Superstore in the bulk bins)
- 1 cup pecans (Superstore in the bulk bins)
- 1/2 cup almond flour (meal, or ‘ground almonds’… it’s all the same, Bulk Barn sells this)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (Superstore in the bulk bins)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup coconut oil (Bulk Barn seems to have the best price I can find in Winnipeg on this)
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp honey
- 1/4 tsp salt or sea salt
- 1 cup dried fruit chopped (I use a mix of cranberries and apricots)
Using a food processor, chop up pecans and almonds until relatively fine but still “chunky”
In a large bowl, mix in almond flour and coconut
In a separate bowl, add peanut butter and coconut oil and microwave for 1 minute to melt. Stir well until smooth.
Add coconut/peanut butter mix to dry ingredients, adding vanilla extract, honey, and salt.
Next fold chopped dried fruit and continue to mix until fruit is evenly distributed.
Divide mixture into two equal batches and press each batch evenly into a loaf pan.
Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until firm.
Cut each batch into 8 equal bars and wrap in plastic wrap or sandwich bag.
Store in the refrigerator. The tend to get a bit squishy at room temperature.
These are really easy bars to make. I’m not kidding when I say I can whip up a batch of these in 10 minutes (and I do every week!). They are so incredibly healthy too! I decided to use dried apricots as well as dried cranberries. Although the apricots are a bit higher in carbs, you have to realize that you’re using 1/2 cup in the whole recipe, and that’s divided amongst 16 bars. I can live with the carbs in 1/32nd of a cup of dried apricots.
These bars are just AWESOME for a quick snack when on the run. I commonly throw one in the glove box of my car in the morning.
Thanks again to Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple for the inspiration!
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