I've been meaning to attempt a healthy, low-carb granola for a while now. My husband is taking a long plane ride tomorrow, so I figured it was as good an excuse as any to whip up some granola bars for his trip. This does have some soy in the form of TVP (texturized vegetable protein), but you could easily just replace it with more nuts and seeds. Or, perhaps make the flakes from this cereal recipe. Or use whey protein crisps. It's up to you!
You could really use whatever mix of nuts and seeds you prefer, and play around with the spices as well. You could also mix in dried fruit and/or chocolate chips when you're done. In retrospect, I wish I had added cacao nibs and perhaps sunflower seeds. This particular recipe was inspired by Nature's Path pumpkin-flax granola.
A couple tips:
-It is important to have all of your ingredients prepped and measured before beginning, trust me.
-The granola bar recipe makes the chewy style of bars. They are a bit delicate, so I highly recommend keeping them in the fridge.
PUMPKIN FLAX GRANOLA
Makes 4-5 cups
- 2 Tbs fat of choice (I used coconut oil)
- 1 cup dry TVP
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (make sure it is FLAKES, not shredded coconut)
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup pepitas (raw, immature pumpkin seeds)
- 6 Tbs flax meal
- 2 Tbs sesame seeds
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice or nutmeg
- 3 Tbs sugar-free syrup of choice. I used this syrup recipe, but I used only 1/4 tsp maple extract plus 1/4 tsp molasses and 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice. You could also use a storebought syrup, such as one of these. Or use honey or maple syrup if you can deal with the carbs
- Powdered sweetener of choice (I used erythritol plus two stevia packets, you could alternately use Truvia or Splenda), to taste or up to 1/3 cup. 1/3 cup will have the level of sweetness of most commercial granolas, but I like mine much less sweet.
- Large pinch of salt
- Optional: 1 fresh raw egg white, if you prefer a clumpy granola
- Warm the coconut oil or other fat in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the dry TVP and cook, stirring, for a minute or two or until the oil is mostly absorbed.
- Add the coconut, almonds, pecans, sesame seeds, salt, and spices. Stir until well-combined.
- Add powdered sweetener to taste. It should be slightly less sweet than you like, as you will be adding the syrup.
- When well-blended, add the syrup and stir. The syrup will likely evaporate. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt or sweetener if desired.
- Take off the heat and immediately stir in the flax meal.
- For a clumpy granola, follow these directions. Otherwise, just bake at 300 degrees. In either case, check on it every ten minutes. Mine was done after about 35 minutes.
Makes 6-8 bars
- 2 cups granola
- 2 Tbs creamy almond butter or other creamy nut butter
- 1 Tbs coconut oil or butter
- 1-2 scoops protein powder. I used 1 scoop of True Protein milk protein isolate in cookie dough flavor. You will probably use 2 scoops for pure whey, 1 scoop for a blend which includes milk or casein. Alternately, just use erythritol to taste
- 2 Tbs sugar-free syrup (I used more of the homemade syrup)
- 1/4-1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit (optional, I didn't use this)
- In a large saucepan, melt the nut butter with the coconut oil on medium-low. Whisk until smooth.
- Add the protein powder and sugar-free syrup and mix well. Add enough water to thin it out to a thick but pourable sauce. I used about 1/4 cup water. The amount really depends on the protein powder you use.
- Stir in the granola until evenly coated.
- Press the granola in an even layer in the bottom of a loaf pan lined with foil or parchment paper. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
- When completely cool, cut into bars.