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Granola Bars: The Latin Edition

You know the feeling. An early happy hour with the ladies from the office turned into dinner which turned into after dinner drinks. Now, its 8:00 am and you're still hitting the snooze button. Breakfast is, without a doubt, the hardest time to pack in a balanced, healthy meal. Who has the time to prepare it, and who wants to be up early in the morning to do so? But fear not, the solution lies not in Egg McMuffins or microwave breakfast burritos. The answer is granola bars.

Granola bars, filled with whole grain oats, fruits, nuts, spices and a bit of indulgence (why, yes, I'd love some chocolate chips) are not only a healthy breakfast to grab on your way out the door, but an awesome pre- or post- workout snack. They are a snap to make and there's a good chance that you have most everything needed in your well-stocked pantry right now. Assemble a big batch over the weekend, keep them in your fridge and - voila! - you have healthy breakfast all week long.

First up, Coconut and Macadamia Granola Bars. Guatemala produces some of the best macadamia nuts in the world! One of the local fincas here even let it slip that their biggest customers come from Hawaii, because their demand is so high that they can’t keep up. This combination of macadamia nuts and coconut makes you feel like you have been transported straight to the tropics.

Next, Papaya and Pineapple Granola Bars. I'm starting to develop a very long list of fruits that I will only eat fresh in countries where they are grown. Close to the top of that list are papaya and pineapple. But this rule only applies to fresh fruit. By using dried fruit here, which is dehydrated at the peak of ripeness, the flavors burst and make a nice compliment to the chewy oats.

And finally, Chocolate and Chile Granola Bars. This recipe was inspired by the rustic, spicy chocolate bars made in the traditional manner by Mayan families in Guatemala. Add as much chile as you require to feel the heat!

 

Coconut and Macadamia Nut Granola Bar

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup roasted, unsalted macadamia nuts, chopped roughly
  • 1 cup shredded coconut  
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Get the full recipe and ingredient list.

 

Papaya and Pineapple Granola Bars

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup each dried papaya and pineapple, chopped
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup honey, maple syrup, or corn syrup

Get the full recipe and ingredient list.

 

Chocolate and Chile Granola Bars

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 cup roasted, unsalted almonds, chopped roughly
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar, roughly chopped  
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Get the full recipe and ingredient list.

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