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These Sunflower Butter Banana Granola Bars Are the Healthy Snack You Crave

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Photo: Nicole Crane

Many of us rely on granola bars as a go-to snack. They're portable, they don't melt in the car, and they seem pretty healthy. But not all granola bars are created equal; some are loaded with sugar and are void of fiber, protein, and good-for-you vitamins and minerals.

Not the DIY granola bars you see here. These guys are made with wholesome ingredients like oats, hemp hearts, banana, and sunflower butter. The last of which has a similar texture and nutritional profile to nut butter. (Sunflower butter is often used as a substitute for peanut butter when allergies are a concern.) We used it in this recipe for a fun twist, and we also threw in mini chocolate chips for good measure—because when is chocolate ever a bad idea? (We also love these 10 easy recipes for healthy energy bars.)

Chocolate Chip Sunflower Butter Banana Granola Bars

Makes 12 bars

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 3 tablespoons hemp hearts
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8×11 baking pan (or similar size) with cooking spray.
  2. Melt the sunflower butter, brown rice syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir often until the mixture is combined well and mostly smooth.
  3. Add the melted sunflower butter mixture to a bowl, add the mashed banana, and whisk together.
  4. In another bowl, place the oats, hemp hearts, cinnamon, and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add the wet mixture into the oat mixture, and stir together. Add in the mini chocolate chips, and stir together again.
  6. Pour the mixture into the sprayed baking pan, pushing down into the pan with the wooden spoon or your hands. Bake for 18 minutes, or until the oats are lightly browned.
  7. Allow it to slightly cool before cutting into 12 bars.

Nutrition per bar: 190 calories, 9g fat, 24g carbs, 3g fiber, 8g sugar, 5g protein

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