Coconut Chocolate Granola Bars & Bites

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I am a huge sucker for granola bars, man, I almost don’t like having them in the house because I want to eat them all!  Chewy, sweet, chocolatey goodness – granola bars always do a great job of satisfying an after-meal sweet tooth.  I try to purposely buy a flavor that I may not care for (but my husband will like for his lunches) just so I don’t eat any at home. Well, needless to say I haven’t found a granola bar that I do not like, bummer! So, I tried to make my own and at least add some beneficial nutrients.

 

I started off with a combo of crunchy peanut butter and coconut oil.  Heat in the microwave for one minute, until soft.

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Coconut oil is a plant-based saturated fat that can actually be very good for you! Even though coconut oil is a saturated fat, because it comes from a plant your body can metabolize it easier than a saturated fat coming from an animal, make sense?  Now in scientific terms, the saturated fat (from coconut oil) is called lauric acid which is a type of medium chain triglycerides, MCT.  Lauric acid has been shown  to increase the good HDL cholesterol in the blood.   Other studies have found coconut oil to be beneficial in weight loss, skin care, anti-aging, boost thyroid function and even stabilizing blood sugar.

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I bought bulk (organic) shredded coconut, unsweetened.   Did you know the packages of shredded coconut contain a ton of added sugar?  Look only 65 cents too! I don’t think I ever tasted unsweetened coconut until I found the bulk coconut.  To the peanut butter/coconut oil mixture, I added oats, unsweetened coconut and chia flour.  Try ground flaxseed if you don’t have chia flour.  I am finally out of chia flour so you will probably be seeing flaxseed in my next recipes Smile .

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Speaking of chia, this heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory seed  is one of the highest plant-based omega-3 fatty acid
sources available. Chia can absorb nine times its weight in liquid and form a consumable gel that is helpful in controlling hunger and
reducing cholesterol.

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Next we added chocolate, dark chocolate chips! Yum!  We also added 1 tablespoon of honey to the mixture.

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Now you can make this recipe into granola bites with the listed ingredients.  Just spoon into small balls and freeze in the freezer.  They are great to eat right out of the freezer.

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Or you can add one egg to the mixture and bake them into bars! A versatile recipe for whatever you feel like, or just a recipe idea I tried and they both worked, ha!

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Remember if you want to make the Granola Bites, just eliminate the egg and shape into balls with a cookie dough scoop and freeze!

Coconut Chia Chocolate Granola Bars (Serves 8)

Ingredients

3 tbsp coconut oil

3 tbsp peanut butter

1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

2/3 cup old fashioned oats

4 tbsp chia flour, or ground chia

1 egg

1 tbsp honey

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, chopped

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degree. In a glass bowl, combine coconut oil and peanut butter; microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine well. Spread mixture into an 8-by-8-inch glass baking dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

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