Sugar-Free Salty-Sweet Granola Bars
Updated: Nov 8, 2022
My bed-bound son needs nutrition overnight when I'm asleep.These bars gain their protein from oats and nut butter (use coconut manna if you can't tolerate nuts) and their sweetness from bananas, balanced with a little saltiness. Play around with cinnamon and/or cocoa for more flavor. I freeze these bars and they're the right temperature by the time James eats on at around 3 or 4 am.
Makes 12 semi-soft sugar-free granola bars, depending on size. NOTE: I do this by eye and describe it that way.
Takes about 45 minutes, including cooking.
Pre-heat oven to 375º
2 large, or 3 small, ripe bananas
½ cup of melted coconut oil, olive oil, or a combination of both (coconut oil adds flavor)
About half a jar (1 cup?) of organic peanut or almond butter
1 heaping teaspoon of salt (James needs extra salt in his diet. I use Himalayan salt)
1 heaping teaspoon of cinnamon (I found organic cinnamon)
1 Tablespoon of cocoa powder (I use organic)
About half a bag of Quick-Cooking Organic Oats (quick cooking are chopped into smaller pieces. You can use regular whole oats, but they’ll be a little more work to chew if someone has severe ME)
Mash bananas with oil, nut butter, salt, cinnamon and cocoa
Once blended, begin to slowly add and mix in oats. Continue adding until mixture starts to become difficult to mix (use a wooden spoon). You want it to be nearly dry, but not dry.
Line the bottom of a baking pan, or a cookie sheet with a lip, with foil and spray with cooking spray, or oil lightly
Push the mixture into the pan and spread out evenly so that it’s about ¼” thick. Press all over until it’s consistent and smooth (I use my hands and then smooth with a rubber spatula) – This is the hardest part of the process for me; it takes a few minutes.
Bake until the edges are golden brown (see photos) – about 20 minutes.
While still warm, cut into bars but don't remove. Cut into 4 long rows by 3 wide for bars (shown) or 4 wide for squares (I use the end of a metal spatula and just press down, versus dragging a knife.
Remove when cooled.
Freeze in an air-tight container. Warm enough to thaw before serving if not saving for overnight like us.