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Christy Morgan’s Chewy Trail Mix Bars from Blissful Bites

I love making homemade snack bars – granola bars, raw bars, baked oat bars, etc…

There are many delicious bars in your local market (my favorites are Kind Bar and Larabar).  And, no doubt, those are great in a pinch.  But, who wants to pay close to $2 a bar especially when you are budget conscious trying to feed a family? Buying premade bars can add up quickly!

I have spent lots of time trying to find a great granola bar recipe.  And, folks, I think I’ve found the perfect recipe.  Chewy, crunchy, firm – and most importantly…SO TASTY!

These granola bars come from Christy Morgan’s Blissful Bites.  They are called Chewy Trail Mix Bars (no oil, but lots of good fats from nuts and seeds) and we can’t get enough of them.  I made my first batch last week and a second this morning.

I love that these bars use brown rice syrup for the sweetener.  In some cases, the brown rice syrup taste can be prominent, but not here.  I taste the almond and peanut butter (note:  the original recipe doesn’t call for peanut butter, but I used half almond and half peanut butter; folks with nut allergies can use sunflower seed or soynut butter).  My peanut butter-loathing husband (can you imagine that?) even enjoyed them.  Whenever Marc eats something with peanut butter and doesn’t cringe, I know I’m on to something.

Stay tuned for more details on all the cooking I’m doing from Blissful Bites.  Have you seen this book yet? It’s gorgeous.  Loads of color – and I’m not just talking photos; there has to be every variety of fruits and veggies represented in this beautiful whole foods cookbook.

This book, along with many many others, has been added to my “Books” resource list, found here.  I have marked all the new additions with an asterisk.  If you have a sweet tooth, check out Chef AJ’s Outrageous Brownies in The Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition (the best black bean brownie I’ve made).

A couple other things to share with you today.

One morning I wanted shredded apples for my oatmeal.  I ended up grabbing my Microplane grater and grated a fresh apple (skin and all).

Instant applesauce on my oatmeal! (See the snowman plate? That’s just a wish for some snow in these parts.)

And, finally, you may have gotten the drift that I’m on a chia pudding kick.  Last night I whipped up my latest version:  Banana Oat Chia Pudding. I didn’t write down what I was doing, but here’s my best shot from memory.

banana oat chia pudding sprinkled with raw cacao nibs

Take one ripe banana and mash it at the bottom of a bowl.  Add 2T of chia seeds.  Add about 1/2 cup almond milk (unsweetened), 1/3 cup coconut yogurt (plain), and 1/4 cup of oats (I used quick).  Add 1T of maple syrup, 1/4 tsp of cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract.  Whisk well and refrigerate overnight.

Oh my! This was SO delicious.  Thick.  Rich banana flavor.  Akin to “overnight oats”.

I made a mistake recently and used grain milk that was high on “sugar” content (no added sugar; just sweet from all the grains).  I added the same amount of maple syrup I added in the past with plain unsweetened plant milks and was overwhelmed by the sweetness.  All this to say that you need to consider all the ingredients you put into your chia pudding before you add the sweetener!

Do you have any favorite tips/tricks or snack bar recipes to share?