Well now that is a statement isn't it? I've been searching, for so long for the perfect granola bar. I've suffered through batches of bars that just won't stick together (but thankfully do make good granola), and the ones that do stick are annoyingly the ones that are bursting with sugar and golden syrup. This just won't do. Granola bars are supposed to be breakfast food, and whilst I'm not pretending that I haven't passed a chocolate brownie off as breakfast, for a regular breakfast it isn't sustainable to eat sugar laden granola bars.
So what is the secret to a healthy sugar-free granola bar that will stick? An egg white.
What goes into your granola bar can be fairly flexible and a combination of coconut oil and honey plus that important egg white will ensure they stay together, and are robust enough to be wrapped up and chucked in your handbag for breakfast on the go (which is why I need them). Plus that egg will give you a little more protein to start the day.
Makes 6 chunky granola bars, bake in a square brownie tin.
190g porridge oats
40g of desiccated coconut or coconut flakes
pinch of sea salt
70ml of coconut oil (melted) or groundnut or sunflower oil
60g of honey
70g of dried fruit
60g nuts, chopped if they are large
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 egg white
Optional but nice:
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Variations / Additions
Swap the coconut flakes for sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon of peanut butter encourages sticking together, and tastes pretty great
grated orange or lemon zest
dark chocolate chips in place of nuts (I won't tell if you don't)
Replace half the honey for maple syrup
Preheat your oven to gas mark 3 / 160c electric
Put all of the ingredients into a large bowl, except for the egg white. Mix with a large wooden spoon, or if using a stand mixer (I've just bought a very shiny new Kitchenaid!) mix on a slow speed with the paddle for 2 minutes. Add in the egg white and briefly mix to combine, mix for 10 seconds in the mixer.
Transfer to your tin, lined with greased proof paper. Press down with a spatula, so that it is all tightly packed together and evenly in the tin. Bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes until it is golden on top.
An important bit for when it comes out of the oven - whilst still in the tin, cut the bars into pieces. Don't worry if they crumble a bit whilst they are warm.
After you've got the bars into slices just smoosh any crumbly bits down again. As they cool the bars will continue to stick together. Leave to cool completely then your bars are ready to be set free from the tin.
They'll keep for about a week in an airtight container. It makes me all kinds of happy that I can whip these up on a Sunday evening and know that breakfast is sorted for 5 days.