I don't eat many store bought granola or energy bars because of the high sodium and oil.
For example, I was reading the ingredients of a very popular brand of protein bar targeted to women and here is what I found; organic cane syrup, dried cane syrup, palm kernel oil and the sodium was 340 mg.
Sugar, oil and sodium does not make a healthy protein bar.
With that in mind, I have been experimenting with my own oil free granola bars.
Today I made these delicious, low-sugar, n0 added sodium oil free granola bars. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. They are also heart healthy because consuming a diet rich in monounsaturated fats, like those found in almond flour, can help lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of blood clots and lower blood pressure.
The wheat germ contains important B vitamins, such as folate, thiamin and vitamin B6 which are very important for the heart. Wheat germ is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids can help lower cholesterol, lower inflammation, and support a healthy nervous system, which can lower anxiety levels and improve mood. The tart cherries have been shown to fight heart disease thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties.
You can omit the dark chocolate if you want, but dark chocolate does have fiber, iron, magnesium and copper.
Last but not least, the oats are unique in their ability to help remove cholesterol from the digestive system that would otherwise end up in the bloodstream. What more could you ask for in a delicious yummy oil free granola bar? Hope you enjoy this easy dark chocolate and cherry oil free granola bars as much as I did.
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Oil Free Granola Bars with Dark Chocolate & Cherries
- ¾ cup slivered almonds
- ¾ cup dried tart cherries
- ½ cup almond flour
- ½ cup wheat germ
- 1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- ⅓ cup vegan dark chocolate chips
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup apple sauce
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a food processor, combine the oats, flour, wheat germ, salt, vanilla, baking powder, apple sauce and maple syrup. Pulse until combined. Stir in almonds, cherries and dark-chocolate chips.
- Transfer the batter to a 9-inch square pan lined in parchment paper or non-stick aluminum foil.
- Bake the bars for 40 minutes or until the center is firm when pressed with a fingertip and the edges begin to brown. Let cool.
- Using the parchment ends as handles, lift th bars from the pan and transfer to a board. Cut the square to form 12 bars.