I like snacking…who am I kidding, I just like to eat…I like food. All kinds of food. Lucky for me, I actually enjoy healthy food. So, when I came across this recipe for granola bars, I just had to try them out. One of my favorite food bloggers, Half Baked Harvest, came up with this amazing recipe, and since I pretty much love everything she makes, I knew they would be good! I had to make a few changes, based on the ingredients I had, and these were a huge hit at our house. Let me just say now, that they are MOSTLY healthy. There is a nice little vanilla glaze that covers these bars that does have some added sugar. However, these bars are just as good without the glaze. So, if you don’t want the sugar, don’t put the greek yogurt glaze on top and you will not be missing anything. I promise!
The original recipe calls for dried blueberries, so I attempted to dry mine in the oven, but they had a slight burned taste to them. This was a bummer because I wasted a carton of fresh blueberries. Boo! So, back to the pantry and I found this yummy dried fruit and seed mixture that I found at Costco that does not have any added sugar. It’s full of goodness, like pumpkin seeds, goji berries, dried cherries, blueberries, etc, and it worked perfectly.
Then they are covered in a mixture of greek yogurt, raw honey, vanilla and some powdered sugar. They taste so much better than the store bought version with crazy ingredients that I can’t pronounce!
The best part is that there is no baking involved….that’s right, NO baking!
Vanilla Greek Yogurt Granola Bars
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cup crispy brown rice cereal
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup slivered almonds or chopped almonds
2 Tablespoons chia seed
1 Tablespoon flax seed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter or almond butter (I used peanut butter)
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup dried fruit
Greek Yogurt Coating
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon gelatin
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
pinch of salt
2 cups powdered sugar
Line an 9×13 pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the oats, crispy cereal, coconut, almonds, chia seeds, flax seeds, cinnamon, and salt and mix well. In a small microwave safe bowl combine the almond butter and honey. Microwave for 30-45 seconds or until the mixture is hot and pourable. Add the vanilla and mix again. Add the honey mixture to the dry oat mixture and mix until everything is moist and combined. (I had to use my hands to get everything mixed well). Gently stir in the dried fruit. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and then using the back of a measuring cup or spatula press the mixture into the pan until it is VERY tightly packed. Cover and place in the freezer for 1 hour. Cut into 10 bars and return to the freezer.
Make the greek yogurt coating. Combine the water and vanilla in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over top and whisk with a fork until the gelatin is evenly distributed. Set aside for about 5 minutes or until needed. It will set into a thick paste.
In another small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey, and salt. Microwave for about 30 seconds, stirring after the first 15 seconds. Don’t let it start to boil or the yogurt will curdle. Whisk the gelatin into the warm yogurt mixture. Whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Scrape the yogurt mixture into a medium mixing bowl and pour the powdered sugar on top. Whisk until the yogurt and powdered sugar combine into a thick, but pourable, coating. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and dip the bottom of each bar into the yogurt and allow any excess to drip off. Flip the bars over so the yogurt coated side faces up and place on the prepared baking sheet. Let the bars sit, uncovered, until dry to the touch, about four hours or overnight (overnight is better, but I couldn’t wait). Cover the remaining yogurt coating with plastic wrap until ready to use again.
Once the bars are completely dry, flip them over so the yogurt coated side is now facing down. Transfer the remaining yogurt coating to a sandwich size ziplock bag and snip a small hole in the corner. Drizzle the remaining coating over the bars and allow the bars to sit at least two hours or until dry. Once the bars are completely dry, store in an airtight container at room temperature.