Mediterranean Monday: Cranberry Chocolate Low-Carb Granola Bars

Dear friends,

Happy Labor Day! It’s the first Monday of the month, and that means another Mediterranean Diet-friendly recipe is comin’ atcha! This one was born of a challenge from my boyfriend to come up with a granola bar recipe that wasn’t loaded in sugar and carbs. The truth is, you just can’t find any in the store with less than 25 grams of carbs, and most of that is sugar and not much is dietary fiber.

Well…challenge accepted, and conquered! This recipe has a total of 13.2 grams of carbs, with 5.2 of that being dietary fiber and only 6 being sugar. In fact, we’ve even found dark chocolate chips sweetened with stevia, so now that number is even a little bit less.

dsc_0130

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate pieces (at least 60% cacao)
  • 2 TBS chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup organic peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup stevia for baking
  • 1/4 cup sukrin fiber syrup, stevia syrup, or other sugar-free syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • dash or two of cinnamon

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine nuts and chop into an extra fine consistency, then pour into a medium size mixing bowl
  2. Grind coconut in the food processor and add to nuts
  3. Chop cranberries up in the food processor a bit, just to make smaller pieces (the finer the texture of the bars, the better they hold together), and add to the bowl
  4. Finally, chop up the chocolate pieces and add to the bowl as well, then pour in chia seeds and stir mixture together
  5. In a small saucepan, add the remaining ingredients and melt together over medium-high heat, stirring constantly to prevent sticking, until a smooth sauce forms
  6. Pour the sauce into the dry ingredients, then stir until well-combined
  7. In a 9×9 square pan lined with wax or parchment paper, pour in the granola mixture and spread evenly with a rubber scraper. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes, or until granola is cooled through.
  8. Lift the parchment paper out of the pan, then cut the granola into 12 pieces. Store in a container or gallon size bag with parchment paper between layers. I keep mine in the refrigerator to keep the bars together. Since they do not contain any sugar, they don’t harden in the way that traditional store-bought granola bars do.

These bars are pretty darn delicious, and Michael never seems to tire of them. I make them for him pretty much weekly, or any time he runs out. He’ll eat them for breakfast or for snacks when he gets hungry at work. Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean just eating bland, flavorless veggies…and this recipe is proof! Hope you enjoy as much as he does 🙂

Love,
Loren

Published by Loren Miller

My name is Loren, and if you're on this page it means you care about your health and living a long and happy life, and that is something we have in common. I've been studying diet and health since 2008, when my grandmother was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. I started out wanting to know more about the link between diet and cancer, and it's turned into a passion that I will carry for the rest of my life. I am certified in holistic nutrition, and I will soon have my degree in journalism from UMass Amherst. Health and Wellness is my beat, as we call it in the world of journalism, and this website is my outlet. My passions are nutrition and cooking, and looking at health from a holistic perspective. After all, you are so much more than just what ails you. You are a whole, living, breathing, dreaming, beautiful human being with a unique personality and individual goals. Your health goes beyond just what you're eating or how you're exercising; it encompasses everything that makes up your quality of life. That's why I write about everything from diet, to recipes, to self-care, to motivation and mindset. Please join me on this health journey!

One thought on “Mediterranean Monday: Cranberry Chocolate Low-Carb Granola Bars

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: