These gluten-free granola bars are filled with apple chips and lots of a cinnamon for a delicious fall snack. A great, healthy way to fuel your workout or a good snack on the go!
The other day I realized something. I must spend literally 80%+ of my day thinking about my workout or thinking about food.
Wake up…what’s for breakfast? 20 minutes after breakfast..oooh! coffee time! (best time of the day). Lunch…Hmmm, well if it’s an early enough lunch, I can afford to go big with the meal and not be too sluggish for crossfit at 5pm. If it’s a later lunch however, I want to be smart with my decisions and probably avoid dairy. 4pm? Ok, what am I going to eat to get my blood sugar up and provide some fuel for this upcoming workout? 6:30pm…refuel time! What’s a good mix of protein and carbs to replace what just got left on the box floor (almost literally) but not ruin my appetite for dinner? Dinner…eat all the things!
Then there’s the constant toying with dairy intake.
I love it, I eat it, but I really try and keep it in check because of one word: bloating.
Although, that whole milk in my coffee and that greek yogurt or ricotta breakfast will always come out ahead in that debate. And most recently, there’s the connection I’ve made between grains/gluten and the eczema I’ve had literally all my life.
Probably tmi, but 30 years of red, itchy armpits is getting old. Like seriously old. I’m not sure if I should feel relieved that I’ve finally figured it out or pathetic that it took me 30+ years.
Needless to say, nutrition and exercise are extremely important to me. Luckily, I don’t have any diseases (like Celiac) forcing me down a specific dietary path, but I’ve done my fair share of experimenting to know what foods make me feel best, what foods allow me to perform best (at Crossfit and running, get your mind out of the gutter) and what foods make me happy.
All things that make up a healthy living.
Sometimes this means enjoying half of a cherry pie in 3 days (yes, that happened this week after an intense craving) and other times this means cutting back my grain & gluten intake to deal with an eczema flare up or to just kind of “detox” (I’m not saying that literally to imply grains are toxic because I truly don’t think they are to most) my body.
And when I’m in one of those “cut back on grains” mode, the hardest thing for me becomes snacks.
Why are so many snacks gluten based?!
I’m partnering up with Udi’s for the next 10 months as one of their ambassadors to talk about things like gluten free recipes, health & wellness and the basics of a gluten free life.
The cool thing about this partnership? I’m not actually gluten free. I don’t have to be and I don’t ever plan on doing so 100%. Gluten free cooking, baking, living and buying doesn’t just have to be for Celiacs or people with sensitivities. Some of us just choose to eat that way occasionally (like me) because it’s part of our healthy lifestyle. I’m excited to share with you guys what that means and how that fits into my life.
So let’s start with these granola bars. They were my go-to snack all last week before working out and they happen to be gluten free. They’re also full of apples and cinnamon and perfect for fall. Celiac, gluten sensitive, or none of the above…dig in!
They’re no-bake which makes them really easy to throw together as they just firm up in the fridge. You could easily add some protein powder to them for some extra satiety or, check out this no-bake protein bar recipe instead.
Apple Cinnamon Granola Bars
- 1 1/4 cup gluten free oats divided
- 1 1/3 cup almonds divided
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons pepitas pumpkin seeds, divided
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 2 medjool dates pitted
- 1 cup dried apples here’s a post on how to make your own apple chips
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 cup honey
- Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a food processor, combine 1 cup of the oats, 1/2 cup of the almonds, the pecans and 1/4 cup of the pepitas. Process until finely chopped and almost flour-like in consistency.
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
- To the bowl, add the chia seeds, flax seeds, the remaining almonds, remaining oats and remaining pepitas.
- Add the dates and the apple chips to the food processor. Process until finely chopped.
- Transfer the apple & date mixture to the large bowl as well.
- Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to the large bowl and stir to mix everything together.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, extracts and honey.
- Pour the liquid into the bowl with the granola ingredients and using a spatula, mix together until incorporated and the mixture becomes sticky.
- Transfer the mixture to the baking dish pressing into the corner and pressing down firmly on the top.
- Refrigerate overnight (or for a few hours) to firm up and then remove and slice.
- Keep bars refrigerated.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi’s Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.