Granola or Muesli Bar?
When I started writing this post I wasn’t sure whether I made granola bars, muesli bars or cereal bars? Is there any difference or is it actually the same bar? So with a little bit of research I came to the conclusion that the difference is the place where the bar is made. While in UK they call it “cereal bar”, in US and Canada it’s called “oat bar”. On the other side of the Earth in Australia and New Zealand people like to call it “muesli” or “cereal bar”. All these names describe bars made of fruits, nuts, other cereals apart from oats and occasionally chocolate.
As all these bars are made to supply you with some energy I decided to call mine – ENERGY BARS
Why do people like to eat energy bars?
Well one of the main reasons that people like to open one granola bar in the office during snack time is that these bars are trendy and convenient.
71% of people think that muesli bars are healthy while 28 % of nutritionists actually disagree. Well, according to a report published in the New York Times the reason for such a big difference in opinion is that the majority of commercially produced granola bars contains large amounts of added sugar, preservatives, artificial sweeteners and flavors, and highly processed ingredients.
So What is the solution?
HOMEMADE GRANOLA- MUESLI- OATS-ENERGY BARS
Advantages of Homemade:
- you can moderate selection and level of sweeteners (brown sugar. honey, maple syrup…)
- by adding nuts -you incorporate protein and omega-3 fatty acids into your breakfast/snack. You can select any nuts as per your choice – cashew, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts. See the comparison table with nut’s nutritional values here . You can add additional protein by adding protein powders.
- select fruits and add them to your bars – dates (I describe later why I suggest to keep those), dry cranberries, apricots, raisins, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, you name it. By adding fruits you get a healthy dose of potassium, fiber, vitamin E, C, B-12
- add some whole grains that are high in fiber and good for your digestive system. A comparison of 9 various seeds is here
- homemade bars are easy and quick to make, last long enough, usually eaten much before their date of expiration.
Feel free to select any fruits, seeds and grains as per the availability and liking, there are two ingredients which I do not recommend you to change:
Calendula made her way in cosmetic industry for her healing and anti-inflammatory properties. This flower is edible and is very effective in the treatment of eczema, acne or psoriasis and has antiseptic and astringent qualities. Calendula known also as Marigold makes our energy bar unique in its color and taste. You can enhance with these orange petals every dish from scrambled eggs to salads, tortillas or salsa. Please find more info on Calendula’s medicinal benefits here .Calendula is easy to grow.. or buy
Dates are not only high in protein and full of vitamins, they are also full of natural sugars – fructose, glucose and therefore can give the bars desired sweet taste without additional sweeteners. But most importantly their stickiness is imperative in making granola bars hold together. Therefore for the above reasons I don’t recommend replacing this ingredient with other alternatives. More about their healthy benefits here
Energy bar in a bootle
As these bars are filled with all healthy ingredients which supply one with energy, vitality and happiness I thought it could be a nice gift to give to your friends, or colleagues. If you place all the ingredients in nice gift-able bottles they make beautiful layers. The recipe can also accompany this creative gift. The layers should go in this sequence: oats, almonds roasted, calendula, sunflower seeds, cranberries, sesame seeds with dates on the top.
Now that you are sufficiently convinced that muesli/gra
nola bars are good for you – Lets make one.