The granola bar recipe I posted years ago is still my kids ABSOLUTE favorite. It’s relatively healthy, since it’s sweetened with honey and peanut butter. If I’m gonna cheat or cross over on my diet, this is my choice. Every. Time. But sometimes, I’d like to have an option that’s just for me, so that I can have a quick grab and go snack or breakfast without crashing my diet.
Several of you have asked me about developing an easy granola bar recipe that works on the Trim Healthy Mama plan. I’ve been mentally playing with recipes for months, and working up a storm in my kitchen (envision the Swedish Chef) since last week to bring you a true Trim Healthy Mama *healthy* carb granola bar! After some spectacular fails (anyone interested in SUPER crunch bars?) and a jar full of accidental granola, I think I’ve got something really yummy!
If you prefer to stay low carb, this is great news: you can enjoy one of these crunchy amazing little treats for under 10 net carb grams, and as a whole grain, oats are slower to metabolize. For me, that means a nice steady sustaining source of energy through my morning with no blood sugar spikes. I like to pair this with a protein rich (low fat) breakfast to give my metabolism a healthy energizing shake up from time to time. On the Trim Healthy Mama plan, that emphasizes slow carb, this would work with an E meal to provide slow, whole grain healthy carbs.
Yes to Candy Apple!
Call me a kid at heart, but I’ve always loved caramel or candy apples in the fall. Since I was going for a crunchy candy-like granola bar, I thought a cinnamon candy apple would be a perfect fit!
I love pumpkin spice as much as the next yoga pants wearing Mama, but I really feel that the blogosphere has got your back there with pretty much ANY form of pumpkin spice anything that you could dream up. So I wanted to go in a little different direction.
But don’t think apple pie style cinnamon apple…
Think cinnamon-red-hot-candy-apple flavored crunchy granola bar with a crisp glaze. This is a granola bar out to have a good time. Little bits of dried apple play so well with the crunchy, cinnamon infused oats. My 13 year old was dying to taste test these, and his first comment was, “These are GREAT! They taste like candy!”
Perfect! 🙂 I hope you like them too!
This recipe makes 8 granola bars, and is quick to mix up. If you omit the glaze, you can make them dairy free, and you can opt to use gluten free oats to create a gluten free granola bar.
- I love the Trim Healthy Mama Gentle Sweet sweetener or their Erythritol. Find them here at the Trim Healthy Mama Store via my affiliate link.
- Candy flavorings or oils give this recipe its amped up cinnamon flavor. You can find the candy flavoring oils in any candy making department (look at local craft stores or Wal-Mart), or you can find them on Amazon at my affiliate links below. If you’ve never used candy flavoring oils, they’re measured by toothpick swirls…this stuff is SO potent that all you do is dip a toothpick in it and swirl it in for flavor.
Candy Apple Granola Bar Recipe & Pin
- ¼ cup natural applesauce (no sugar added)
- ½ cup erythritol or Trim Healthy Mama Gentle Sweet, or similar erythritol based sweetener of choice
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 10 slices dried apples (13 grams), cut into bits
- 1 drop cinnamon candy flavor oil (candy aisle) or 1-3 drops of cinnamon oil
- 1½ cups old fashioned oats
- ½ to 1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon, optional
- 2 Tablespoons 0% plain Greek yogurt
- 3 Tablespoons THM Gentle Sweet or erythritol or erythritol based sweetener of your choice
- 1 teaspoon juice from can of beets, optional for natural color or ½ drop of red food coloring
- 1 toothpick dip/swirl of cinnamon oil or 1 drop good quality cinnamon oil
- 1 squirt apple flavored stevia drops, or toothpick dipped in candy apple oil flavoring
- Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit down into your bread pan, leaving the ends hanging out to help you remove your bars and to make clean up easier.
- Place applesauce, ½ cup erythritol (or sweetener), & olive oil to a small saucepan, and melt over medium low heat. Once melted and bubbly, stir for 1 minute, timed.
- Remove from heat. Stir in oats, apples, and drop of flavoring oil. If you've never used the intense candy flavoring oils, start with just a toothpick dipped in the bottle and swirl that in your mix then stir and test out the flavor intensity until you get it just right.
- Immediately press warm mixture into bread pan, and slice into 8 bars. Cut one line down the middle, then divide each side in half, creating 4 sections. Finally cut each section in half to get 8 bars.
- Allow bars to cool *completely*, then remove from pan and break apart.
- In a small saucepan, melt sweetener on medium low heat, and quickly whisk in remaining ingredients. Stir for 30 seconds. Remove from heat, and drizzle over the granola bars. I like to use a plastic squirt bottle.
- Once bars are dry and cooled, store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Dairy Free- Omit glaze
Gluten Free- Use Gluten Free oats
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Hi Gwen, this sounds yum nummy!!!! Just wondering how do you dry your apples? Or do you buy them that way?
Gwen Brown says
I found dried apples at Aldi’s. 🙂 I *could* dry my own in the oven on low, but it’s SOoooo much easier to buy them. 🙂
Can I use cinnamon essential oil?
Gwen Brown says
Yes! If you have a good brand, and it only takes a drop. 🙂
These are really good! The first time I made them they didn’t stick together well but I just used it as granola. Perfect on the go E snack. Great recipe!
Gwen Brown says
Thank you, Kim! So glad you’re enjoying them. 🙂 I got some granola my first time through as well.
Gwen, I love this idea and can’t wait to try them! Have you made them with fresh apples instead of dried?
Gwen Brown says
I haven’t, but I think fresh would cause them to mold and would be too juicy. But you could dry fresh apples in the oven and use them to get around those problems. 🙂
Carolyn B. says
If I replace the dried apples with unsweetened coconut flakes, will that be a crossover? Thanks
Genet Harris says
Then again, I am not surprised. My children enjoy the recipes from THIS BLOG more than any other “healthy” blog out there. I don’t push THM on them 100% of course, they’re growing children. But they eat about 80% with me.
Question here though : Have you ever used honey for this ? Or agave ? That takes it out of THM territory, I know, but thinking they would like it. If so, how would you sub that out ?
Gwen Brown says
I would try it with honey…subbing for the sweetener for kids who are not needing to be on plan. 😉
Could I add protein powder to these for added protein? Or would that make it a crossover?