Tag Archives: Flax

Dark Chocolate Granola Bars

I’m a big fan of dark chocolate and granola bars. So I decided to combine these in a really yummy granola bar recipe! My recipe was inspired by one I saw at Another Lunch, with a few changes. Instead of using chocolate chips, I used a 4-ounce Ghirardelli 60% cacao dark chocolate bar, chopping it up coarsely. I used coconut oil instead of canola oil, using a few teaspoons more than the original recipe did. And I used puffed brown rice cereal instead of crisp rice cereal.

I love the way they tasted! The only downside is that, after the granola is done baking, it needs to sit overnight to fully set before cutting into bars. If you cut them sooner, they’ll fall apart. They were still slightly crumbly in some places when I cut mine the next morning, but not too bad. I found that when I refrigerated them they held together better, too.

These are great for a quick breakfast (chocolate for breakfast–YES!) or an afternoon snack. They’re easy to take to work or pack in a school lunch if you wrap each bar individually in wax paper after cutting them. Next time I make these, I may add some chopped almonds, too.

This recipe makes 10 to 12 yummy granola bars!

DARK CHOCOLATE GRANOLA BARS by NancyCreative, adapted from Another Lunch

Makes 10 to 12 bars in an 8×8″ pan

  • 2 1/2 cups quick oats (regular oats don’t hold together as well in this)
  • 1/2 cup puffed brown rice or crisp rice cereal
  • 1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons  ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, well-packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 to 2 teaspoons coconut oil (or substitute canola oil)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 to 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (4-ounce) dark chocolate bar, coarsely chopped  (I used a Ghirardelli 60% cacao bar)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8″ square pan with parchment paper; set aside.

Mix oats, rice cereal, flaxseed or wheat germ, brown sugar, and salt, blending so ingredients are evenly distributed. Add in the oil, honey, and vanilla, and slowly blend ingredients well, taking your time, so the wet ingredients can “soak” into the dry ingredients and hold together better (you can use a big spoon or even your hands to mix the ingredients). Then stir in the coarsely chopped bar of chocolate, blending so chocolate is evenly distributed. Firmly press mixture into your parchment-lined 8×8″ pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until top is golden (I baked mine 22 minutes).

Let granola cool completely and set overnight in pan (if you don’t let it set long enough, the granola will fall apart when cutting).

The next morning, lift the granola out of the pan with the edges of the parchment paper.

Using a long, sharp knife, cut into bars…you’ll get 10 to 12, depending on how wide you cut them. I cut mine into 10 bars. The granola was still a little crumbly in some places when I was cutting…these bars are definitely more delicate than the store-bought kind (but I think they taste so much better!).

If you’re not eating the granola bars right away, wrap them up individually in wax paper or a waxy type of sandwich wrap (I got mine at Sam’s Club). You can store them, wrapped, in an airtight container, but I like storing them in the refrigerator better–after mine were in the fridge a bit, they held together better.

Then enjoy your granola bars whenever you’re ready for a great snack!

Do you make your own granola bars? What ingredients do you like putting in yours?


Cranberry-Raspberry Smoothie


I’ve been eating way too many sweets these past few weeks! So I just had to have something healthy for breakfast  a few days ago. You know, to sort of balance things out. 😉  The weather had warmed up to an unseasonably balmy 50 degrees, so I thought a smoothie sounded good. I wanted to make one with cranberries, since this is cranberry season, so I came up with this healthy little recipe. It’s a thick, creamy smoothie that also has frozen raspberries, yogurt, honey and a banana in it to help make it nice and thick. It’s not super-sweet, just sweet enough. Drinking this honey-sweetened smoothie helped me from overdoing it on sweets later in the day. Now today was a different story. I probably should have made this smoothie for breakfast again!

This recipe makes 1 large serving (12 to 14 ounces) or 2 smaller servings.


  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk or soymilk
  • 1/2 cup plain, vanilla, or raspberry yogurt (I like to use plain Greek yogurt)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Makes 1 large or 2 small servings. If you want to make this smoothie extra healthy, sprinkle in some flax seed–about 1/2 Tablespoon–before blending mixture. You won’t even be able to taste it, and you’ll get some extra fiber!