When Patsy tweeted that she was "gathering healthy munchies for our road trip", I responded, vivaciously and enthusiastically.
"YES. ME TOO!"
(Capital letters plus exclamation mark = vivacity and enthusiasm. Math according to Twitter.)
Then I happened to glance at my kitchen table. Oats. Dried pineapple. Crystallized ginger. And chocolate.
Okay, so maybe I got a little teensy weensy bit caught up in the moment.
I tweeted her and Cate back, in all lowercase letters, saying "uh. moderately healthy."
Don't look at me like that. OATS, people! OATS! These are cholesterol-lowering granola bars! (No, I do not have my medical degree yet, why do you ask?)
Okay FINE. Moderately healthi-ER than their leading granola bar counterpart (cough Quaker chewy bars cough). You don't even want to see that ingredient list. (But if you do, here's the link.)
And way more filling. I know because we ate them for dinner.
(Long story. I'll tell it eventually, when it's less raw and emotionally charged.)
So basically, what I mean to say that these are an every meal, every hour of every day kind of (moderately) healthy snack. Dense, thick, chewy, and bursting at the seams with pineapple ginger deliciousness, you'll never waste your time, money, or calories on a subpar granola snack ever again. I swear it.
Pineapple Ginger Granola Bars
Makes 12, adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/3 plus 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup chopped hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup dried pineapple, chopped
- 1/2 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
- 1/2 cup chocolate chunks
- Preheat oven to 325. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the applesauce, honey, cinnamon, and vanilla. Stir in the oats, making sure that it is evenly mixed and all of the oats are moistened. Stir in the hazelnuts, pineapple, ginger, and chocolate.
- Turn the mixture into the baking pan and press into the pan, making sure it is evenly distributed and tightly packed.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the freezer until the bars are firm, at least 1 hour. Remove from the pan and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.