Granola bars make for a really good nutritious energizing snack. It's really too bad that most bars (even 'healthy' whole grain ones) have a million ingredients listed and just aren't much better than eating a chocolate bar.
Here are some ingredients for popular 'healthy' packaged granola bars at the grocery store:
Cranberry & Almond Trail Mix Quaker Bar - Granola (Quaker Rolled Oats, rolled whole wheat, brown sugar, sunflower oil, fructose-glucose, dried unsweetened coconut, honey, sodium bicarbonate, natural flavour, modified milk ingredients), glucose, crisp rice (rice flour, sugar, malt extract, salt), almonds, raisins coated with hydrogenated cottonseed and/or soybean and/or canola oil, honey, peanuts, dried sweetened cranberry pieces (cranberries, sugar, sunflower oil), sunflower oil, fructose-glucose, fructose, glucose solids, invert sugar, glycerin, sorbitool, soy lecithin, salt, natural flavours (wheat gluten), caramel colour (sulphites), mixed tocopherols.
Cherry & Dark Chocolate Kashi Bar - Rolled grain blend (hard red wheat, oats, rye, triticale, barley), brown rice syrup, cherries (red tart cherries, apple juice concentrate, vegetable oil), semi-sweet chocolate (evaporated cane juice, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, natural flavour, milk ingredients), soy protein isolate, soy grits, evaporated cane juice crystals, chicory root (inulin), evaporated cane juice syrup, honey, corn flour, expeller pressed canola oil, rice starch, glycerin, oat hull fibre, salt, seven whole grains & sesame blend (whole: oats, hard red wheat, rye, long grain brown rice, triticale, barley, buckwheat, sesame seeds), natural flavour, cane juice molasses, soy lecithin, milk ingredients, almond flour, peanut flour.
Wow! That's a lot of ingredients! And a LOT of sugar!!
I don't ever buy granola bars and try to make them myself instead. That is, before I started buying Made With Local Bars. Made With Local is a great local company here in the Halifax area. The 'company' is made up of two lovely ladies, Sheena and Kathy, who make and package every single bar themselves. The company has really grown and although they started off selling the bars at the local markets they also have them available throughout the city and now in other parts of the province too. Pretty soon they'll be opening an online store, which will allow them to ship their bars throughout the country.
So what's in the Made With Local Bars? 100% REAL FOOD! Their bars don't contain any wheat, any dairy, any eggs, any corn and any soy.
They have 4 different bars available:
Cranberry Apple Crisp - organic oats, almond butter, dried apple and cranberries, honey, flax flour, vanilla, walnuts, cinnamon
Choco Berry Bliss - organic oats, almond butter, dried cranberries, 70% dark chocolate, honey, walnuts, vanilla, cinnamon
Sticky Squirrel - organic oats, peanut butter, molasses, honey, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice
Bluberry Grunt - organic oats, almond butter, dried blueberries, honey, flax flour, vanilla, walnuts, spices
Every single one of them are delicious! I don't really have a favorite. Over the holidays they also came out with special 'holiday' flavours like gingerbread and peanut butter chocolate (this one tasted like a peanut butter chocolate ball). I especially liked the gingerbread. Totally tasted like Christmas.
You know what's even better than the short list of recognizable ingredients in the Made With Local Bars? 90% of the ingredients are local maritime ingredients (either grown or processed here in the Maritimes)! That's a major plus for me!
Here's what they have to say about it:
"We believe that the Made with Local flavours are not just scrumptiously delicious and so very good for you, they serve a purpose! They come together to tell the story of the many talented farmers and producers located in Atlantic Canada. Right now, more than ever we need to support the farms and businesses of our neighbors and these snack bars make that simple"
Here are the local suppliers used to make the bars:
- Molasses - Crosby Molasses in Saint John, New Brunswick
- Organic Oats - Speerville Flour Mill in Speerville, New Brunswick
- Almond Butter/Peanut Butter - Nutsmith Nut Butters in Windsor, Nova Scotia (no added salt, sugar or fats in any butters, just roasted, ground nuts
- Honey - Cosman and Whidden Honey in Greenwich, Nova Scotia (pure and unpasteurized)
- Dried apples, cranberries, blueberries - Terra Beata Cranberry Farm in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia (they use 50% less sugar in their dried fruits and don't add sulphites or oils)
- Dark Chocolate - from Just Us! Coffee in Nova Scotia (chocolate is fair-trade)
- Flax Flour - Valley Flax Flour in Middleton, Nova Scotia
For more great info about the suppliers check them out here on the Made With Local website: http://www.madewithlocal.ca/local-suppliers-support/
The only ingredients from elsewhere are the walnuts, vanilla and spices.
If you're in the area make sure to visit them at the Halifax Seaport Market and Aldnerney Market on Saturdays or pick up some bars at the following locations:
- Pete's Frootique (Halifax)
- Just Us! Coffee (Barrington and Spring Garden Rd.)
- Uncommon Grounds
- World Tea House
- Cafe Brea
- The Trail Shop
- The Summit Shop
- Coburg Coffee House
- The Grainery Co-op
- Edible Matters Pantry
- Noggins Farm Markets (Alderney Landing and Annapolis Valley)