Feel Good Hearty Granola Bars

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granolabars 7933   Feel Good Hearty Granola Bars

I’m already starting to think about how I will fuel myself (quickly) after the little bambino arrives this fall. I’m not one who functions well with long periods between meals, so planning in advance is going to be my best ally. The healthier and more balanced, the better I‘m sure I’ll feel. Bring on the healthy, hippie foods, I say! In addition to freezer friendly meals – like veggie burgers and balls, chili, soup, falafel, enchiladas, pasta + pesto sauces, burritos, etc. – I hope to prepare snacks in advance that I can individually wrap and store in the freezer. Things that I can toss into my purse or quickly unwrap when I need a boost will be so handy. Amidst uncertainty, it always feels good to have a back up plan (even if my reality will be take out food more than not).

These lightly-sweet granola bars are a great option because they are only sweetened with bananas and sweetened dried fruit. No sugar crashes here! You could even remove the dried fruit if you really wanted to, but I love how the dried cherries provide a pop of sweetness throughout. But it’s not what the bars don’t have – it’s what they do have. How about hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, rolled oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, banana, and more. These wholesome bars are crunchy, hearty, and chewy in the best way possible. And super filling thanks to the balance of protein, fibre, carbs, and healthy fats. One bar clocks in at 6.6 grams of protein and almost 5 grams of fibre (you can see the complete nutritional info in the recipe below). If you wanted to boost the protein even more, you can increase the hemp seeds (and maybe reduce the sunflower seeds a bit).

For even more staying power, try spreading on some nut or seed butter (with chia seed jam to make it a party!) or even a bit of coconut oil. That’s never a bad idea. Is it snack time yet?

healthygranolabars   Feel Good Hearty Granola Bars

Feel Good Hearty Granola Bars

Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free

By

5 from 4 reviews
print icon   Feel Good Hearty Granola Bars

Hearty, chewy, and crunchy, these wholesome granola bars will fill up the tank and keep your energy stable. If you are feeding the nut-free crowd, you can easily swap out the walnuts and almonds for more seeds so no one is left out! This recipe is adapted from Anjali's Oat Snack Bars which was originally adapted from Faith's 4-Ingredient Banana Oat Bars.

Yield
14-16 large bars
Prep Time
Cook time
Total Time

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 medium/large bananas)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups rolled oats (use certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup dried cherries, chopped (I used 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pepita seeds (shelled pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup hulled hemp seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt or fine grain sea salt, or to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a large rectangular baking dish (approx. 8.5" x 12.5") and line with a piece of parchment paper so the bars are easier to lift out.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the banana until smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
  3. Place the rolled oats into a food processor (or blender on the lowest speed) and pulse until the oats are coarsely chopped (but still with lots of texture). Stir oats into the banana mixture.
  4. Chop the walnuts and cherries and stir these and the rest of the ingredients into the banana-oat mixture until thoroughly combined.
  5. Spoon mixture into prepared dish. Press down until compacted and smooth out with hands until even. Use a pastry roller to smooth out if desired.
  6. Bake for 23-27 minutes (I baked for 25 mins.) until firm and lightly golden along the edge. Place dish on a cooling rack for 10 minutes then carefully slide a knife to loosen the ends and lift out. Place granola slab on a cooling rack for 10 minutes and then into the freezer for another 10 mins. (if you are impatient like me).
  7. Slice into bars once they are cool.
Approximate nutritional info: (per bar, based on 14 large bars using 1/2 cup dried sweetened cherries): 186 calories, 8.7 grams fat, 22 grams carbs, 4.7 grams fibre, 6 grams sugar, 6.6 grams protein. Without dried cherries, bars have approx. 3.6 grams of sugar and 166 calories.

Tips: To wrap these up for freezing, I wrapped the bars individually in parchment paper using 6-inch by 12-inch pieces of parchment. After wrapping up a bar, tie it with string or tape it to secure. Finally, place all of the bars into a freezer-safe zip lock bag, press out all the air, and then seal it shut. I will update this note when I know how long the bars last for, but I expect they will keep for over 1 month in the freezer. 2) These bars aren't super sweet, so if you prefer something sweeter you can always add a touch of sweetener. 3) I also expect these would be great with chopped dark chocolate added in!

darngoodgranolabars   Feel Good Hearty Granola Bars

PS- The winner of the Vitamix contest has been announced at the bottom of this post! A big thank you to everyone who took part in the #osgcookbook Vitamix giveaway and to Vitamix for donating the machine. I had a blast seeing all your pictures come in over the past 2 weeks. 

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{ 163 comments… read them below or add one }

Nina Vrolijk May 20, 2014

I was riding my bike uphill today and had to rush to pick my kid up at kindergarten. Had no time to eat something and was feeling realy weak. I thought a good protein-rich snack would be great right now (thought I was going to fall off my bike before even reaching the top). Guess you read my mind haha. Going to try these. Thanks :-)

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Alexis @ Hummusapien May 20, 2014

It’s fate!! I have way too many brown nanners on the counter right now. Love all the nuts ands seeds and naturally sweet goodness in there!

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Baby June May 20, 2014

This sounds like great fuel for such a busy time in one’s life! So many healthy fats and warm flavors to love!

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Christina (sisters running the kitchen) May 20, 2014

wow these look really good! hearty is definitely the word to describe these haha. I just pinned them. thank you!

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Johnna Green May 20, 2014

I just love your pictures! Ill have to attempt to make these. Here are a few healthy snacks that got me through my pregnancy and the year of breastfeeding- Add the “Jump Start” bar to the list.
inallofhersplendor.com/2014/01/06/healthy-snacks-i-love/

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Erica { EricaDHouse.com } May 20, 2014

These look delicious! I’m so excited to see how you manage maintaining such a healthy lifestyle post-baby. I know I’m hoping to do the same if/when the time comes for me, but I’m nervous about being able to juggle it all!

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Ashley @ Blissful Basil May 20, 2014

These look amazing and so nutritious! I love how you wrapped them all in such cute, transportable bundles. Little granola bundles of joy!

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molly yeh May 20, 2014

these look amazing and i am in love with that packaging :)

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Averie @ Averie Cooks May 20, 2014

These look so hearty and satisfying….and healthy! And love making my own granola bars. Healthier, cheaper, and you get to customize :) pinned!

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Chicago Jogger May 20, 2014

Lovely bars! Yum. I’ll have to add these to my list.

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Tina Muir May 20, 2014

Oh this looks absolutely wonderful! Just what I love to eat! I love that you are thinking about fueling your body, and how you and your bambino will feel better the better you eat. As an athlete I have noticed how a small change can make a huge difference. Granola bars like this are so much better than the processed stuff most people have!

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Kristi Rimkus May 20, 2014

I’m a fan of making my own granola bars and skipping the junk they put in store purchased bars. These look terrific!

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Abby @ The Frosted Vegan May 20, 2014

Ohh I’m with you, I need snacks around or I get to that hangry point! : )

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Iosune | Minimal Eats May 20, 2014

I’m a huge fan of granola bars, I love them!!! I’ve always used agave syrup but the next time I’ll use mashed bananas, what a great idea! Thanks Angela :)

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Lamirose May 20, 2014

thank you for this super nice recipe…

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Polly @ Tasty Food Project May 20, 2014

I like how you used banana as a natural sweetener! Yum!! Love how these granola bars can be wrapped up for freezing. What a great snack to throw in your purse!

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Emily @ It Comes Naturally Blog May 20, 2014

Mmm…they look delicious. Can’t help but think I might have to add a little raw cacao powder in :-)

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Christina May 20, 2014

I love all of the super healthy ingredients jam packed into one power house of a granola bar. I made your original glow bars for a vegan bake sale the other month and they were an absolute hit and I am sure these will be too!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 20, 2014

Aw so glad to hear they were a hit! Thanks for spreading the love. :)

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Kelly P May 20, 2014

Definitely do prepare healthy snacks ahead of time! The smartest thing I did during my pregnancy was stock my freezer with soups, chili and other hearty meals for the first post-baby weeks. As tired as I was with my big belly, I was even more tired after the birth and my husband and I were able to eat for almost a month with minimal cooking. It was such a relief. I might add that many of those meals were your creations!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 20, 2014

“As tired as I was with my big belly, I was even more tired after the birth”
So very true!! I’ll definitely think of that to keep me going during the final weeks of prep. :)

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Tracy May 20, 2014

Hi Angela,
I’m excited to try these. I have a question about your jars. What kind are they? I’ve been looking for some jars that just have the measurements but don’t have a bunch of other writing on it. thanks

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Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen May 20, 2014

This look so wonderful and rustic Angela – like the perfect mid-morning or mid-afternoon ‘pick me up’ snack! I can’t wait to try these! I love that you can freeze them in advance for the busy days to come – thanks for the wonderful recipe!

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Tara May 20, 2014

These look delicious!! Do they have to go in the fridge or freezer? We are travelling next week and I would like to make them for the long drives but won’t have access to a fridge or freezer. Thanks :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 20, 2014

Hey Tara,

This is my first time making them so I’m just storing them in the fridge and freezer right now. I do expect they would stay fine at room temp (just don’t let them get too hot) for at least a few days, but not sure on the timing. Happy travels!

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Natalie @ Whole Plate Wellness May 20, 2014

Oh my gosh talk about super-seed-powered!! These look amazing and so nutrient dense, perfect for busy days post-baby. Love the twine and paper too – such a cute idea!

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Janine May 20, 2014

Good idea to stock the freezer with snacks! I personally need to eat way more breastfeeding than while pregnant, and it is very nice not to worry about prepping stuff for awhile after babe is born. I found that people tend to bring over meals, but not snacks (or at least not healthy sustaining ones). Your quick and easy protein bars have been one of my go-tos the last couple of weeks, but I’ll try these next!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 20, 2014

These sounds awesome, Ange! I made a similar type of bar over the weekend (more as an experiment to see if the bananas would actually hold everything together) and it worked! Love that you’ve used just sweetness from fruit in here. Perfect one-handed snack for when you’ve got a baby in the other one! :)

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Shelby May 20, 2014

These look perfect. I’ve been looking for a granola bar that isn’t overly sweetened. Thanks Angela!

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Sarah @ Seriously Lovely May 20, 2014

I make something similar to keep on hand for snacks and now I can’t wait to give these a try! I love all the add-ins and the fact that they’re sweetened just with fruit. Yum!

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Karissa @ Vegan À La Mode May 20, 2014

These look so incredible! Given my obsession with the Glo Bars, I imagine I will love these just as much! I think I am going to try making these with Medjool dates for some extra sweetness! :)

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Phalyn May 20, 2014

I’m actually starting to do my post baby food prep today! I’ve already made an awesome list of your recipes that I’m hoping freeze well. Just wondering how you would freeze the enchilada???
You look great btw! Looking forward to more ideas for the freezer.
Phalyn

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 20, 2014

I haven’t tried it yet, but I do remember readers saying they froze well. Might be worth checking out the comments in that post! If I was going to do it, I would probably freeze the enchiladas with the tomato sauce (but not the avocado sauce – I’d make that fresh) and cover it very well with foil and then put a tight lid on the dish. There’s probably many ways to go about it though!
Have fun with your food prep!

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coxy May 20, 2014

These look superb. :)

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Jody May 20, 2014

Thank you for a recipe that doesn’t need nut butter!!! I’ve been looking for one that can be easily made for my kids lunches which have to be nut free – and sun butter is really hard to find where I am (not to mention expensive!). I can easily sub the walnuts and almonds for something else. (But make as is for when we are at home!)

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Jody May 26, 2014

We made them and they are just as yummy as we hoped! Added chia, flax and chocolate chips in place of the nuts for school. Thank you for a new staple at our house!

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Natasha May 20, 2014

These look fantastic! Can´t wait to try them! Just wanted to check how vital the hemp seeds are to the overall bar and amount of protein? I can´t buy them where I live (and can´t get them shipped here, either) so would it be ok if I substituted them with more nuts and seeds? Thank you!!!!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 20, 2014

they do add about 13-ish grams of protein in the 1/4 cup but you can totally sub whatever you want in there. Sesame seeds might be nice :)

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Melissa @ Nourish By Melissa May 20, 2014

These are gorgeous! I looooove homemade granola bars…wish I always had a batch in the house! Also love how you wrapped them, so cute!!

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Willow @Will Cook For Friends May 20, 2014

These sound so good! It’s crazy how much sugar is packed into most granola recipes, so the idea of replacing all that with some bananas is pure genius. Can’t wait to try them!

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Osha Key May 20, 2014

Ooh lala! These look super yummy!
I’d like to thank you, Angela, for being such an inspiration. Making delicious healthy vegan food is a huge passion of mine, and since I started following your blog, I’ve been wanting to capture my own food. But taking a photo with a shitty camera often feels like an insult to my food… Today I finally bought a good camera and can’t wait to learn how to use it properly and start a new adventure!!
I looove your blog <3 Thanks for teaching the world that vegan food (and saving animals!) can be fun and absolutely gorgeous!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 20, 2014

You are so sweet! Thank you, that totally made my day :) Have fun exploring your new camera (don’t be alarmed if it’s frustrating for a while…at least it was for me, but then it gets really fun!)

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andrea May 20, 2014

So excited to see this posted today. Made some already and added chocolate chips and cranberries. :)

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Charlotte May 25, 2014

I also made some today with chocolate chips and cranberries! Yummy aren’t they. :-)

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Lindsay May 20, 2014

Hello :) I just want to let you know that I featured you on my recent post “Blog Crushes”. Check it out when you have a chance! ohmyvegan.com

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Emily May 20, 2014

Okay, these are beautiful…and packed full with so many amazing nutrients!
I can’t wait to try them. Thank you!

PS: I love the way you wrapped them up! Too cute.

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Katie @ Produce on Parade May 20, 2014

Love it! I bet you can’t wait to meet your little one in the Fall. How sweet :)

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar May 20, 2014

Oh man! These are definitely feel good bars! Love!

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