These kind of or kinda clean Dark Chocolate Espresso Granola Bars are absolutely phenomenal! I was a little concerned during the preparation of the granola bars as I quite unfamiliar with making granola or granola bars, but am quite pleased with the results. The recipe is easy to follow and I had most of the ingredients in my pantry (or cupboard for you Southern folk!). Although Oxygen magazine recommends eating a little cocoa before an exercise, I felt compelled to categorize them under our Clean Eat Treats category since you would not want to over indulge with the Dark Chocolate Espresso Granola Bars or even eat one per day! They have approximately 250 calories per bar (makes 8).
Dark Chocolate Espresso Granola Bars
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp raw honey
2 oz dark chocolate-covered espresso beans (70% or higher cocoa content)
1/3 cup coconut oil, softened
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (no HFCS) or almond extract
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Use a wooden spoon to combine.
3. Spread mixture evenly in a 9" X 9" baking dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden around edges.
4. Let cool and slice into 8 bars. Refrigerate leftovers.
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Adapted from: Oxygen Magazine, "Cocoa Before Cardio - Reader of the Month Recipe", October 2011.