As I’m typing this up I’m having one of these amazing granola bars as my dessert after dinner. I came upon these bars through the blog Family Fresh Cooking. Marla has a really nice blog all about fresh and healthy cooking. We both can relate to that. I was actually in the market for some homemade granola bars because I’d like to limit my intake from store bought bars. In reality it is cheaper to make your own bars and you can use all natural ingredients. These bars are suppose to mimic one of my favorites, sweet/salty peanut butter pretzel Clif Mojo bars. Which is also one of Marla’s favorites as well! Marla’s Telluride Trail Bars were inspired by their many trips to Telluride, CO. I’ve never been to Colorado but by her photos, it looks like a beautiful state!
The bars have pretzels and peanuts, with peanut butter and banana being the binder/sweetener. No refined sugar is added to these bars. A touch of honey or maple syrup would be nice but I really don’t think it is necessary. They bake up beautifully and are great snacks. I’ve enjoyed mine like Marla and her family does by making little sandwiches with them or adding it to some plain kefir with a drizzle of peanut butter. I tweaked the bars a little bit by adding in some pepita and sunflower seeds, chocolate chips and chia seeds on top! Also instead of plain peanuts I added some honey roasted peanuts (these will contain refined sugar).They make a great dessert like I mentioned earlier or a pre/post workout snack. I totally recommend peanut butter on top!
Telluride Trail Bars
Adapted from Family Fresh Cooking
2 cups toasted old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup honey roasted peanuts, chopped
2 tablespoons raw pepita seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds, toasted
4 mashes very ripe bananas
1 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup whole grain or spelt pretzels
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons chia seeds
Optional: natural sweetener to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with rack in the middle. Lay peanuts, seeds and oats in a 9 x 13” baking dish in a single layer. Bake for about 10 minutes until lightly toasted and golden brown. When you can start to smell the oats, peanuts and seeds, that means they are done. Set aside and let cool in a medium bowl.
Keep the oven heated to 350 degrees. Line the 9 x 13” baking dish with parchment paper. Heat up peanut butter and mashed bananas in microwave or over the stove and stir well to combine. Let cool a few minutes. In the medium bowl with the toasted oat mixture add in the peanut and banana mixture. Fold in the pretzels and 1/8 cup of the chocolate chips. The chocolate will melt into the mixture. Taste granola and add any sweetener if desired. Spread the mixture evenly in the baking dish and top with remaining chocolate chips and chia seeds.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. The granola bars are done when the top is golden brown and the edges are a bit crispy. Let them cool so they are easy to handle, gently transfer to a cutting surface removing parchment paper and cut with a serrated knife or pizza cutter.
Plain kefir, go lean crunch cereal, crumbled up telluride bars, and peanut butter drizzle.