Making Granola Bars a Healthy Treat

Crunchy, chewy, chocolatey, fruity Granola Bars are an American snack and breakfast staple and favorite.  In fact, granola bars are so popular, they even have their own annual day of celebration in January.  Pitched as a healthy food (and they can be), the nutrition label often tells otherwise—most are little more than candy bars in disguise!  Many are loaded with sugar and high fructose sugar and short on fiber and protein.  The satiety value is low—in a short amount of time, hunger sets in again.

So how can you enjoy your favorite snack without leaving you hungry or wanting more?  Here are a couple of ideas to up the granola bar game:

  1. Look for a better bar.  Check the ingredients and nutrition label.  Specifically look for bars that are high in fiber and protein, sweetened with honey or natural syrups, and include nuts, grains, seeds, and fruits.
  2. Make or concoct your own. There is an abundance of recipes to choose from.  Groovy Granola Bars from Oregon State University is an easy recipe to get you started.  Not only is it packed with fiber and protein, it also provides half of your daily value for Omega-3’s.  Change it up with other dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and even a few dark chocolate chips. Coconut palm sugar can be used to replace the brown sugar without altering the flavor.  However, the American Diabetes Assn cautions that coconut palm sugar but should be treat the same as brown sugar for those needing to count calories and carbohydrates.

We’d love to hear your granola bar story.  Please share in the comments!

Marlene Geiger

Marlene Geiger

I am a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a BS in Home Economics Education and Extension and from Colorado State University with a MS in Textiles and Clothing. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, gardening, quilting, cooking, sewing, and sharing knowledge and experience with others.

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