These refreshing Chewy Mint Chocolate Granola Bars are full of whole oats, flax seeds, nut butter, coconut oil and a touch of honey. They are a fun and refreshing snack for you and the kids!
Growing up, my brother would always always always get mint chocolate chip ice cream whenever we were lucky enough to go down to the BR 31 Flavors in our neighborhood.
When he ordered, I would just stand there and look at him like he was crazy.
Green ice cream??.. with chocolate??
What was he thinking?
No way. It was pink bubble gum ice cream for me. Which at the time, I thought was sooooo much more sophisticated;)
Turns out, big bro was right all along.
Mint + Chocolate were meant for each other.
It only took me 20+ years to catch on to his smart thinking.
Since this realization, I can’t get enough of this combo – in ice cream, candy, and even as a healthy breakfast smoothie.
So last week, as I was about to make some healthy granola bars to take to Ellie’s class for snack time, I decided to put a fun and unexpected twist on my standard chocolate granola bar version.. I added a little peppermint extract to the mix.
Confession, the first batch of granola bars didn’t even make it to her class.
We ate them all within two days!
Chewy, refreshing and full of healthy ingredients like oats, flax seeds, nut butter, a touch of honey and coconut oil, these granola bars are gluten and refined-sugar free and if needed you can use sunflower seed butter to make them nut free.
The ones in these pictures are made with store bought sunbutter! Seriously!
Making granola bars is easy, it’s a 1-2-3 step process.
1 – We heat up the glue for the bars (nut butter, honey and coconut oil) in a large stock pot until melted. Once melted, you remove it from the stove and stir in the glorious peppermint extract.
((Note about peppermint extract, you can usually find it in your local grocery store right next to the vanilla extract, but you can also get it on amazon. It is kinda expensive for an extract but it will seriously last you forever.))
2 – While that is happening, we pulse the flax seeds and oats down so they are easier to eat in a full size bar (you won’t also get those annoying flex seeds stuck in your teeth).
3 – We let the nut butter glue cool down. We absolutely do not want to melt the chocolate chunks into the granola bars, so just take a minute off of life and let the mixture cool down. Then we pour the oat mixture into the nut mixture, give it a good stir. Then the most important part – we add in the chocolate chunks (chips will also do). Pour everything into a pan, press down until firm and you’re done.
Okay, so I lied, there is one more step.
4 – We melt some chocolate in the microwave and in the laziest way possible, we drizzle it over the bars. Now we are officially done.
After a short trip into the fridge to chill out and harden up, the bars are done and ready to be enjoyed.
Thanks big bro for setting me straight – chocolate and mint are good together anywhere and in anything.
Chewy Mint Chocolate Granola Bars
1/3 cup flax seeds
2 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup nut butter (peanut, almond, sunflower seed)
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon peppermint oil extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips or chunks
2 tablespoons chocolate chips or chunks
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1. Line a 8×8 pan with parchment paper or tinfoil.
2.In a food processor or blender, place the flax seeds and pulse for 10-15 seconds until they are broken down. Add in the oats and pulse for another 5-10 seconds to break down the oats. You want them about half their original size. Set mixture aside.
3. In a large stock pot, over medium-low heat melt the nut butter, honey and coconut oil, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and add in the peppermint extract, stirring to combine. Let cool for 10-15 minutes or until just barley warm to touch.
4. Add in the oat mixture and stir until well combined. Add in the chocolate chunks and stir until combined.
5. Transfer the oat mixture to the pan and press down until you have an even layer of oats. I find placing my hand inside a plastic sandwich bag then pressing down the mixture helps it from sticking to the oat mixture. Press down hard and evenly until the mixture will not press down any more.
6. In a small microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate chips and coconut oil and heat in 30 second intervals until the chocolate is melted, stirring after each interval.
7. Drizzle the chocolate ontop of the granola bars or if you want a thick layer, simply pour the chocolate over the entire pan and spread into a thin layer with a knife or spatula.
8. Place the pan in the fridge and let set for 2 hours. Cut into 18 bars or small bites and serve.
Yield – 18 bars
Cooking Time – 20 minutes
Cooling Time – 2 hours
Storage – in an air-tight container in the fridge for 2 weeks.
In memory of Ry, love you always