Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating within an hour of waking up has been proven to set you up for success for the rest of your day nutrition wise. Studies show that eating a healthy breakfast can provide a more nutritionally balanced diet, help to improve concentration throughout the day, as well as improve strength and physical insurance and even lower cholesterol.
All that being said, some mornings in our house prove a bit more challenging than others when it comes to having time to grab something quick for myself, and usually just opt for some peanut butter toast. I have been wanting to try to make homemade granola bars for a long time. They’re satiating, super convenient and depending on what you put in them, they can provide tons of energy and nutrition!
My family and I love them, but most are packed with tons of sugar and preservatives and who knows what else!? For some reason, the thought of making then myself always intimidated me, but inspiration struck and I was finally ready to dive in.
There are so many variations you could make too- anything from chocolate chips to almonds and everything in between, but for this recipe, the stars of the show are a perfect nutritionally packed pair: Culinary Grade Jade Leaf Matcha & rich and earthy Roasted Cocoa Nibs from Aschenti Cocoa. *Read through for the 10% discount code from Aschenti!*
Matcha is a finely ground green tea powder that is known best for being packed with antioxidants, providing steady energy throughout the day, improving skin, and increasing metabolism.
Cocoa Nibs are broken cocoa beans and are a superfood powerhouse. They are rich in antioxidants, magnesium and calcium, and are known best for promoting heart health, improving mood and brain function, as well as being an aphrodisiac (haaaaay!).
I’d say those are pretty great ways to start the day, so without further adieu, here is the recipe!
2 cups gluten free steel cut oats
1 cup puffed rice cereal
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup, plus 1 tbsp roasted cocoa nibs
2 TBSP coconut oil (melted)
2/3 cup raw honey ( can make vegan by using brown rice syrup)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp real vanilla extract
1 Tbsp culinary grade matcha
-Combine all ingredients except matcha and 1 tbsp cocoa nibs in a large mixing bowl and toss to coat evenly with honey. Mixture should be sticky but slightly loose.
-If needed, add more honey 1 tbsp at a time until desired consistency is reached.
-At this point I split the mixture in half, leaving out matcha for the kids.
To remaining mixture:
-Add matcha and toss to coat evenly, making sure all of the loose powder is disolved/soaked. Mixture will be a vibrant shade of green.
-Place half in a greased (with coconut oil) 8×8 baking pan and pack down tightly with your hands. Mixture is sticky so I put coconut oil on my hands for this part. Top with remaining cocoa nibs. Place in a preheated 350° oven for 10 minutes. Do not overbake or it will burn.
-Remove when mixture is slightly golden on top and still pliable to the touch. Let cool 10 minutes and then place in freezer to set.
-Once mixture is completely cooled, it will firm up. Take out of the freezer and slice into 8 bars and enjoy! Place in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.(If you need to stack them, separate layers with parchment paper.)
I cooked my matcha mixture in my Go Sun Solar Oven. Here are some of the many benefits of cooking solar:
• it’s safe: no fire or smoke makes it safe to use around kids! We used ours while sitting on the patio playing chalk!
•it is portable: we played on the patio, but it can be taken anywhere: the park, the beach, on a hike, camping, tailgating…you get the idea.
• it’s eco friendly: cooking solar only users the power of the sun- and that means no fuel or wood is used in the process!
•it’s fun and easy: it’s a similar to the concept of cooking in a crock pot. You put food in, and then go about your business! No one is stuck cooking in the kitchen!
•it’s healthy: food cooks slowly so nutrients aren’t cooked away in the process.
-To cook in the GoSun Stove, simply grease the cooking tube slightly with coconut oil.
-Pack mixture into tube tightly. It didn’t fill the entire tube, so I just used my hand to pack the end tightly to the rest of the mix,creating a long bar.
– Place in the glass tube in direct sunlight and let cook for 50min-1hr. Remove metal tube from glass and let cool slightly.
-Sprinkle remaining cocoa nibs over top and press slightly into mixture.
-At this point I placed my metal tube in the freezer until mixture was set (about an hour).
-Gently take mixture out of tube, and cut into 6 bars. Place in an airtight container (if you need to stack, separate layers with parchment paper) and store for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
You can easily make in your conventional oven by repeating the cooking steps listed above for the first half of the mix.
And there you have it! Delicious, energy packed matcha cocoa nib granola bars! I hope you enjoy!
Aschenti Cocoa has been so generous to my followers and has provided a 10% off code for anyone who purchases any of their signature collection. Just use code KIMILOVE !
Have you cooked with solar before? Do you have a favorite granola bar recipe? I’d love to hear in the comments!
* This post is sponsored. I was gifted the products discussed in this post, however all views and opinions are my own. *