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Deliciously grain-free, low-carb "granola" bars filled with dried cranberries and sugar-free chocolate chips. This is snack paradise! This post contains affiliate links.
My love has a new name and it is… low carb granola bars with chocolate chips and blueberries. Saying that I'm obsessed with these delicious treats doesn't even start to cover it up. I think of them all the time; I just can't get them off my mind. I think of all his good qualities and smile at myself. I whisper his name and feel a sparkle in my heart when I hear it out loud. I call them on the phone constantly, just to hear their voice. And then I hang up because I don't want them to know it was me. I follow them at school and sometimes I follow them home and hide in the bushes, looking out the window. If I can get close enough to them, I inhale them, trying to memorize their scent. I am a little concerned that they may issue a restraining order against me, but I can't help it. LlllllllLlooooooooovvvvvveee them. And I know that if they only gave me one chance, they would love me again.
Okay, that might take it a bit far, but these grain-free homemade granola bars are worth a little obsession. I was even surprised at how good they are. In the past, when I thought real granola bars were good for me, they were one of my favorite snacks. My husband and I pack them on camping trips and hikes and we always keep some in the car because of sudden hunger. We favored the Nature Valley brand and we especially liked the chews. A peanut butter stain on top and I was in snack heaven.
Creating a low carb version of this old favorite has always been a goal of mine, but it has presented numerous challenges. Making granola bars without granola is tricky, of course, but I found that coconut flakes and sliced almonds can mimic oatmeal pretty well. Making them sugar and honey-free is even more difficult since that's what holds most chewy granola bars together. I have made "granola bars" in the past that had egg white as a binder and, although they were tasty, they ended up being too soft and more biscuits than I wanted. This time, I tried a "syrup" with butter and sweetener. I also used a little Yacon syrup to give it a little more grip (fiber syrup works well too). Then I REALLY pressed the mixture firmly into the pan before baking.
I can't lie and tell you that these hold perfectly together. They are on the brittle side and crumble easily. But of course they are good and have the right texture and the perfect flavor for chewy granola bars. It was difficult to stop eating them and my husband and children felt the same. It's worth it, the crumb and everything. I already did them three times!
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Some little tips to do this:
1. Chop the dried cranberries a little more because cutting them can cause the bars to crumble a bit more. Dried sugar-free blueberries are hard to find, but you can make your own Home version or you can buy some on Amazon. This time, I used the ones from Fruit of the coastIt comes in a pound bag and will last me forever!
2. Cut them into squares instead of longer bars. I loved the look of the long bars shown here, but they were more brittle that way.
3. They will be very soft even when coming out of the oven. Let them cool completely before removing them from the pan. Then be sure to use a very sharp, not serrated kitchen knife (or a bench knife if you have one). Cut in a straight line, you don't see it from one side to the other
4. Eat them with a pinch of peanut butter and you will be in snack paradise!
5. Keep crumbs or bars from crumbling and make them into the most delicious granola. Fabulous with a little thick cream for breakfast!
Granola bars with chocolate chips and blueberries
Deliciously grain-free, low-carb "granola" bars, packed with dried cranberries and sugar-free chocolate chips. This is snack paradise!
Servings: 16 bars
Calories: 179 kcal
Preheat oven to 300F and line 9 × 9 or 8 × 8-inch skillet with parchment paper (with some of the parchment sticking out the sides for easy removal).
In a food processor, combine coconut, almond, walnut, and sunflower seeds. Process on high heat until mixture resembles coarse crumbs in texture.
Transfer to a bowl and add the blueberries, chocolate chips, and salt.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter with Yacon or fiber syrup. Once melted, add the powdered sweetener until smooth. Add the vanilla extract.
Stir the butter mixture into the walnut / coconut mixture until well combined. Press evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Use a flat-bottomed glass or measuring cup to really press it down and compact it as much as possible.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until edges are golden. Let cool completely in the pan, then remove them from the parchment. Use a very sharp knife and cut them into bars (cutting down works much better than cutting them).
Servings 16. Each serving has 3.41 g of NET CARBOHYDRATES.
Dietary energy: 179 kcal Total fat: 16.32 g Calories from fat: 146 Cholesterol: 15 mg Carbohydrate: 6.24 g Total dietary fiber: 2.87 g Protein: 2.88 g