I know that the arrival of January always brings that big push to get organized, start new routines, and eat healthier foods. None of that is really something I pay much mind to, really. I try to stay consistent in the healthy eating department, and the thought of placing those other two things on myself at the beginning of a new year seems overwhelming and a lot of unnecessary pressure.
I did, though, recently have to start going through the contents of all my childhood belongings and keepsakes, as my parents won’t be able to store them anymore. Talk about overwhelming. My pre-digital camera childhood has been boxed up with pictures and negatives neatly in their jackets, bead necklaces, medals, diaries, and a couple of old teeth. (No joke on that last one. Gross). I had forgotten how easy smart phones and “the cloud” have made it to save and catalogue special memories and moments. Faced staring at box mountain the other day, I suddenly felt at a loss on what to put in the keep pile and what should finally, finally be discarded. How do you even begin to decide which memories stay in your possession and which ones go?
These healthy chewy granola bars are chocked full of the good stuff. Oats, almond flour, cranberries, sunflower seeds, flax seed, and, of course, chocolate chips. Sweetened with honey (or maple syrup), you’ve got yourself one wholesome little treat. I’ve been making batches of these granola bars and wrapping them individually in foil to store in the freezer. Grabbing one (or two) on my way out the door in the mornings has been a lifesaver. A very tasty lifesaver.
Make a Salted Plains recipe? I’d love to see! Tag your creations on Instagram with #saltedplains!
- 2 cups gluten-free oats
- 1 cup almond flour/meal
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
- ⅓-1/2 cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
- ½ cup melted coconut oil, allow to cool a few minutes
- ½ cup honey (or maple syrup to make vegan)
- 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9x13 pan with coconut oil or line with parchment paper. Parchment paper will yield a cleaner removal.
- In a large bowl, combine oats, almond flour, cinnamon, salt, ground flax seed, chocolate chips, cranberries, and sunflower seeds. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour cooled coconut oil, honey, and vanilla extract. Stir until the mixture is evenly coated.
- Transfer mixture to prepared pan and using a a piece of parchment paper, press mixture firmly down into pan.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes or until sides and top start to turn a golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Once completely cool, use a sharp knife to cut into bars. Wrap individually with foil or store in an airtight container.