Heart Healthy Maple Cashew Granola Bars
We deeply respect granola bars in our home. When I was a vegetarian youngster, I remember lining each of my bags with granola bars and subsisting off them for months when I would travel. Today I am proud to include other types of food in my diet. However, the granola bar remains king of the snacking world for us.
In order to cut down on all the non-recyclable, individual wrappers we went through with store bought granola bars, I’ve been making my own for several years now. I make a big batch on the weekend and store them in the freezer for easy grabbing during the week. We wrap them in homemade beeswax wraps for zero waste storage as well.
Sadly, I don’t like the flavor of dates, which many no-bake recipes rely on. So I was overcome with joy when I first ran across a date-free, no-bake granola bar from The Ambitious Baker.
Over time, I developed that recipe to create our family’s go-to. I chose ingredients to keep these granola bars PACKED with heart health fats, fiber, and protein (which is what I myself myself when I eat four).
Ground flax seeds help hold the granola bars together. On top of that, they are filled with omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.
Chia seeds offer the bars even more omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, iron, antioxidants and a touch of protein.
The backbone of these bars is the humble oat. Inexpensive and packed with fiber, it is a whole grain champion.
Hemp seed is another fantastic addition, lending omega-3 and 6’s, fiber and protein.
In addition to their richness in nutrients, they are easy to throw together on the weekend. For these bars, you first mix together the dry ingredients. Then you add in the wet ingredients. Last, just press the mix into a dish and chill till sliceable.
Once I slice the bars, I store them in the fridge or freezer for easy snacking throughout the week!
Maple Cashew Granola Bars
Rich in whole grains, fiber, and omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, these snacking bars are a heart healthy choice for any time of day. You can freeze extra bars for easy snacking during the week.
Prep Time: 20 mins | Chilling Time: 2 hrs
Servings: 16 bars | Calories: 135kcal
1 cup creamy almond or nut butter
1/2 cup agave
1 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup roasted cashews, roughly chopped
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
2 tablespoon chia seeds
¼ cup hemp seed (if you don't like the taste of hemp seed, reduce this to 2 tbsps)
2 tbsp cashews, chopped (for sprinkling)
Add almond butter and agave to a microwavable bowl. Warm in the microwave 1 minute or until you can stir the agave and almond butter together to evenly combine. Stir in maple extract, cinnamon and salt to the almond butter and agave.
In a large bowl, mix together cashews, flaxseed meal, oats, chia seeds and hemp seeds. Pour wet ingredients over the oat mixture and stir until evenly combined. It should create a ball of granola bar deliciousness. (If your mix is a little wet (it can be depending on the type of nut butter you use), stir in a couple tablespoons of oats or flax meal.)
Press mixture firmly into an 8x8 pan lined with parchment paper. They are a bit sticky, so you can run your fingers under water as you press the mixture down to help ease the process.
Sprinkle on the 2 tbsp of chopped cashews and press into the top of the bars. Let chill in the freezer for at least 1 hour or in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
Remove to a cutting board and cut into 16 bars. Store bars in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer.
Calorie count is just an approximation.
Adapted from a marvelous recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.