Oatmeal Month Special Recipe
This recipe of Almond Chocochip Granola Bar is a part of the series on oatmeal special recipes. I have been wanting to share a granola bar recipe for a long time now and when came January with its special grain, I instantly knew the blog was incomplete without a granola. January is celebrated by Whole Grains Council as International Oatmeal Month. To celebrate the uniqueness and versatility of this grain, I will be sharing few easy to bake recipes involving oats this month.
Granola is a breakfast and snack food consisting primarily of oats, nuts, honey or other sweeteners like brown sugar, which is baked until it is crisp, toasted and golden brown. The granola mix is often eaten in combination with yogurt, honey, fresh fruits or milk. It also serves as topping for various pastries, desserts and ice creams. As a snack, it is condensed into a bar form making it easy to carry for packed lunches, trips or other outdoor activities.
This recipe of Almond Chocochip Granola Bar is a healthy recipe filled with goodness of oats and almonds accompanied by the benefits of dried cranberries and raisins complimented by the flavors from spices like cinnamon and dry ginger. Honey and chocolate chips help to bind the bar together and the oil provides the medium to roast the oats and almonds to provide the needed crunchiness.
The bars are sweetened with honey and are free from any saturated fats making them a perfect low calorie meal when you are short of time. Each bar is approximately less than 150 calories and provide the energy boost when we need it the most. These bars are perfect for camping, hikes and hunger pangs at odd hours of the day.
Oats is a low-calorie food which slows digestion and makes you feel full longer. Thus, reducing your cravings and helping you shed a few pounds. Oats are loaded with dietary fiber and the antioxidants present in oats are beneficial for heart disease and the dietary fibers help lower the bad cholesterol. Oats are a rich source of fiber, both soluble and insoluble, which helps in regulating bowel movements and hence prevents constipation. Since oats help stabilize blood sugar and reduce risk of type-2 diabetes, diabetics should consume oats regularly. Oats are also a rich source of magnesium, which is key to enzyme function and energy production, and helps prevent heart attacks and strokes by relaxing blood vessels, aiding the heart muscle, and regulating blood pressure.
Almonds are naturally highest in calcium of all nuts and a source of Vitamin E, protein and healthy fats which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease. Almonds are extremely high in magnesium, offering major improvements for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Eating almonds and other nuts can increase fullness and help you eat fewer calories.
Honey is a healthful sweetener, especially when compared to refined sugars, such as white sugar, turbinado, cane sugar, and powdered sugar. While honey contains more carbohydrates and calories than white sugar, it is natural, less processed, only modestly impacts blood sugar, and contains some nutrients. For people with diabetes, using honey in very small amounts should not cause blood glucose to spike dramatically. So, people with diabetes may consume honey instead of sugar in moderation, as part of a healthful diet.
Cinnamon is a highly aromatic and delicious spice commonly used to add a distinct flavor and aroma in baked goods. Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants that protect the body from cell damaging agents. It helps the body to fight infections and repairs tissue damage. It is good for diabetics and it slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive tract. It also helps fight bacterial and fungal infections.
Honey and cinnamon are two of the most powerful kitchen ingredients that are commonly found in Indian households for various culinary as well as medicinal purposes. Honey is excellent if combined with cinnamon as they complement each other. They control sugar spikes by reducing triglycerides (type of fat in the blood) and are a good option for diabetics. Both honey and cinnamon are anti-inflammatory, also combat allergies and boost your immunity system. They are also a great combination for curing constipation.
These granola bars are delicious to taste and make a perfect go to breakfast or snack for adults and kids alike. Full of nutrition, easy to prepare and pack for trips or snack boxes , these granola bars are a must in every household. The crunchiness from oats and nuts, the chewy flavours from cranberries and raisins with an earthy flavour from honey turn these bars heavenly. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does. Do let me know how it turned out for you. Happy Baking and Healthy Living!!
Almond Chocochips Granola Bar
- 2 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1 cup chopped almonds
- 1/2 cup choco-chips (dark)
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 cup dried cranberries (optional)
- 1/8 cup raisins (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 170 degree Celsius and line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper.
- Take quick-cooking oats, chopped almonds, choco-chips, cinnamon powder, dry ginger powder and salt in a wide bowl. Mix well to combine all ingredients.
- Add in oil, honey and vanilla extract to the above mix. Stir thoroughly till everything is uniformly combined.
- Add the granola mix to the baking pan and spread evenly.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the granola mix with a spoon. Combine cranberries and raisins at this point. Press with a spoon well to pack the mixture down firmly and evenly in the pan.
- Bake the mix for another 20 minutes. Let the granola cool till it is warm to touch. Cover and refrigerate for an hour so that the granola is well set.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the granola into squares. The bars keep well for upto ten days at room temperature. You may store the granola in airtight container in refrigerator for a longer shelf life.
- The recipe can easily be halved or doubled.
- Store the bars in an airtight container at room temperature for a period of 10-15 days. When stored in a refrigerator, the bars may be consumed for almost a month. The bars can also be freezed for a longer shelf life.
STEPS FOR MAKING ALMOND CHOCOCHIP GRANOLA BAR
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 170 degree Celsius and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.
Step 2: Take quick-cooking oats, chopped almonds, choco-chips, cinnamon powder, dry ginger powder and salt in a wide bowl. Mix well to combine all ingredients.
Step 3: Add in oil, honey and vanilla extract to the above mix. Stir thoroughly till everything is uniformly combined.
Step 4: Add the granola mix to the baking pan and spread evenly.
Step 5: Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the granola mix with a spoon. Combine cranberries and raisins at this point. Press with a spoon well to pack the mixture down firmly and evenly in the pan.
Step 6: Bake the mix for another 20 minutes. Let the granola cool till it is warm to touch. Cover and refrigerate for an hour so that the granola is well set.
Step 7: Using a sharp knife, slice the granola into squares. The bars keep well for up to ten days at room temperature. You may store the granola in airtight container in refrigerator for a longer shelf life.
- You may easily half or double the recipe as per your requirement.
- Store the bars in an airtight container at room temperature for a period of 10-15 days. You may consume them for almost a month if stored in a refrigerator. Freeze the bars for a longer shelf life.