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Monday, October 3, 2011

Clean Eat Recipe :: Kinda Clean Dark Chocolate Espresso Granola Bars

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 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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Gluten Free Version:  Use Gluten-Free Rolled Oats and Gluten-Free Flour as alternatives.

Adapted from: Oxygen Magazine, "Cocoa Before Cardio - Reader of the Month Recipe", October 2011.


  1. Wow...these look AMAZING. Staples, take these on the road--no more complaints of how how it is to eat clean on a trip!

    I am defnitely giving these a shot ASAP.

  2. I have not started this entire process of clean eating but really want to do it but I'm finding it difficult to know where to get started. I do not know what "clean protein powder" would be? Could you point me in the right direction. I haven't researched all the items enough to know where I could find them at my local grocery store, H.E.B's, so this is just one question to start with for now, ha! Oh, what section in the store would I find Coconut Oil, I know this recipe doesn't call for it but a lot of others do, I just happen to decide to ask the question now?


    1. Hi Amanda! Scott is posting about clean protein powders today, so please visit the site (are you signed up through email or Google Friend Connect to receive updates?) today to check out the recommendations.
      Coconut Oil is typically found in your organic/health food section of your grocery store. If you have a whole foods or Earth Fare near you will definitely find it there!

  3. Instead of using canola oil I used half coconut oil half olive oil. They turned out great but does this change the calories or the health of the bar?

    1. Brandi,

      This absolutely changes the mets of the recipe. Plug it in to and you are good to go!

  4. Could you use oat flour instead of the whole wheat? Should I add something to get the proper consistency?

    1. You would likely need a little more oil if you use oat flour as it tends to be a bit more dry! That should do it!


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