Ginger Cashew Granola Bars

If you are a regular follower of this blog, you may have noticed that I eat a lot of nuts. As a diabetic who is trying to control blood sugars with diet and exercise alone, nuts have been my saving grace. I use almond meal as my go-to low carb flour and have gained considerable experience baking with it and other nut meals. When I am ravenous and need quick energy, I almost inevitably turn to a handful of roasted nuts. I simply don’t know how I would get along without them and I thank my lucky stars that I am not allergic to any. I also occasionally curse out the local school system for being nut-free. I fully understand why they are nut free and I take it very seriously, but I often wish I could send my children to school with some nut-based snacks, as they are both healthy and convenient. Quite simply, I am nuts about nuts.

This fact has obviously not escaped the notice of some people. I was contacted recently by a company called Oh! Nuts to see if I would be interested in trying and reviewing their products. Being such a nut-aholic, it was not an offer I could refuse. I had seen them online before, but never ordered through them. I told them some items I was out of and to my surprise, they sent me everything I mentioned. And it arrived on my doorstep less than 24 hours later. Now that’s what I call customer service!

I knew the first thing I wanted to make was these granola bars. They are not low carb, but I’d long had them in mind as a snack for my husband. This man eats a lot of granola bars, and we buy them by the case at our local wholesale club. They are relatively healthy, as snacks go, but I knew a homemade version would be better. And when I saw the gorgeous cashews sent to me by Oh! Nuts, I knew they would be the perfect addition to some homemade chewy granola bars. These are premium cashews, huge and flavourful. When toasted, they have that amazing buttery flavour that only cashews have. A perfect match for sweet dried apricots and crystallized ginger.

If you are looking for premium nuts, dried fruit or chocolate, I highly recommend checking out the selection from Oh! Nuts.

The Results: These are to die for! I’ve never attepted chewy granola bars before and I used a recipe from King Arthur Flour as a guide. But their bars have insane amounts of sugar, and following the advice of reviewers, I cut back on that by about two thirds. I also found that it really didn’t make enough to fill a 9×13 pan, so I quickly whipped up a bit more to make it to the edges of the pan. But the flavour is spot on, I just love it. I’ve had to make my husband take almost the whole batch to work to keep me from eating them, since even my healthier version isn’t kind to my glucose levels. But I did allow myself one on my birthday morning for breakfast, and it was amazing.

To my surprise, my kids liked them too. I think of ginger as a grown-up flavour, because I didn’t like it as a child. But after a taste of them, my middle child actually uttered the words “Thank you for making these, Mommy!”. Wow, you can’t ask for more than that!

The only thing I might do differently next time would be to chop up the cashews roughly before hand. The whole nuts were so large, they made it hard to cut the soft bars properly. But this recipe is definitely a keeper!

Ginger Cashew Granola Bars

2 cups old-fashioned oats (gluten free, if possible)
1/2 cup flax seed meal
1 cup cashews, coarsely chopped
1 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the ends for easy removal and cleanup. Grease parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flax seed meal, cashews, apricots, ginger and salt.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter, sugar and honey together. Stir until sugar is dissolved.

Add butter mixture to oat mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Spread mixture evenly in pan and press down firmly. Use the flat-bottom of a measuring cup if you have one.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes (they will be very soft), then lift bars out using edges of parchment. Let cool for another 20-30 minutes, or until starting to firm up. Cut carefully into bars using a very sharp knife.

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Comments

  1. Day-Dreamin' Optimist says

    Carolyn, you do such a beautiful job with photos of your cooking creations – you make everything look divine!
    This was a great post, now you got me wondering about almond meal. I am a cook but not a baker, so I have not heard of this type of meal – could you tell me a little more about this product?

    p.s. that is way cool that Oh! Nuts would do that for you!!

  2. Lauren at Keep It Sweet says

    My sister used to work in a nut-free office and had the hardest time packing lunch and snacks. I couldn't love without almonds and peanut butter as go-to snacks and protein sources!

  3. Pretend Chef says

    I love a good granola bar especially one full of nuts. Itty bitty and I are a bit of nut fanatics as well. I need to make a batch of these. They look beautiful and absolutely delicious!

  4. Becky says

    Your granola bars look amazing. I made a similar recipe, but they got crumbly, and didn't stay together very well. Do these bars stay together? I'll have to try them.

  5. Day-Dreamin' Optimist says

    Thank you so much for the quick reply, Carolyn! I would just how much better a product would taste if it were made with almond flour vs. wheat flour – do you notice much of a difference?

  6. Belinda @zomppa says

    I love cashews. This looks perfect – it's awesome how you are watching your blood sugar via food and exercise. These bars look better than anything on the market.

  7. Angie's Recipes says

    Carolyn, I love those energy bars! The addition of crystallized ginger in a granola bars is just brilliant.

  8. Jeanine says

    Beautiful pics, Granola bars are just grand for snacks. I agree though, sure would be nice to be able to send them (loaded with nuts) to school.

  9. Sandra says

    Oh those are to die for..they looks beautiful, crunchy and tasty.. delicious stuff! I eat nuts every day and couldn't imagine my snack without them :))
    Stunning photos as always!

  10. Stephanie says

    I am nuts about nuts, too! I actually snacked on cashews this week — they were so buttery and sweet. The perfect nibble to have when hunger pangs strike. Chewy granola bars sound wonderful. I really like the picture with the ribbon — super cute!

  11. rosanna says

    These granola bars look absolutely delicious and wonderful. As usual you keep surprising us with your creations and your great pics.
    Amazing.

  12. Lizzy says

    I'm not usually a fan of granola bars, but yours sound outstanding, Carolyn! I think the fact that they are packed full of good things…and chewy…make them special~

  13. Melissa @IWasBornToCook says

    These look great…I'm definitely bookmarking this. And, I just bought a bag of almond flour – first one!

  14. Katrina says

    Stellar! Oh I want to be munching on one of these right now! I've had some granola mishaps in the past wekk. :( I'm glad to see somebody is having luck!! Truly beautiful pics too! ♥- Katrina

  15. kitchenarian says

    Cashews are my favorite of all the nuts. This looks delicious! My husband is diabetic, so I am always on the lookout for treats that he can enjoy. Thanks for the recipe.

  16. Nicole@ The Dirty Oven says

    I might have to makes these for my husband before his long cycling trips. Thanks for sharing.

  17. MikeVFMK says

    Carolyn,

    I'm a big granola fan and these bars look incredible. I would love the texture and the crystalized ginger. Pictures look fab as well!

  18. Chef Dennis says

    hi Carolyn

    those granola bars look so very very good! Cashew are my all time favorite nut, followed by pistachios…I can only imagine how good they were in those bars!

    thanks for sharing such a great recipe with us!
    Dennis

  19. Suchi says

    Hey Carolyn, I have been wanting to make granola bars for so long…never get the courage- your recipe looks good. I might try and make it now! Thanks for sharing

  20. Now Serving says

    Carolyn, these look outrageously yummy! nut and fruit in a homemade granola bar – let's ask Nature Valley to take a hike:) LOVELY post!I am certainly going to try this out some time soon

  21. Kim - Liv Life says

    OOhh!!! Carolyn… these are a must try. I've also turned to nuts in an attempt to curb my carb addiction. Macadamia being my current favorite. Tomorrow is the start of Liv's Competition Dance Season and the studio is having a big bbq for the team and their families in between shows, I'm charged with bringing a dessert, I think I just found it!!!

  22. The Mom Chef says

    You had me at ginger. I love the stuff. The cashews may be easier to cut chopped up, but they look gorgeous big like they are. Thanks for reviewing the product and passing along a beautiful recipe.

  23. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic says

    I am nuts about nuts too! I've been thinking of making homemade granola bars for a while now but still haven't gotten around to it! And I definitely prefer the chewy ones too.

  24. Kate @ Diethood.com says

    This recipe looks fantastic – I love that you used cashews in these granola bars and packed 'em with delicious ingredients!

  25. Ang says

    I just have to say first….the pink ribbon around the bars is insanely cute. Second, I really appreciate blogs like yours with a different approach. People are faced with life changing circumstances everyday, and part of that life change is in their food. Some more than others, but you always seem to have a little (or a lot in some cases)something to think about and walk away with. I really appreciate that Carolyn!

  26. scratch-made wife says

    You're reading my mind! I woke up this morning itching to make granola bars. Yours sound awfully good!

  27. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says

    Ginger and cashew are tow of my favorite things, I'm already in love with these bars!

  28. Kelley at My Island Wedding says

    oh goodness, i grew up on granola bars, yogurt & fruit as snacks! i have never made my own though. have 2 kids and will def make these for all of us! so glad i happened upon your blog!
    -kelley

  29. A Thought For Food says

    These do sound delicious! I do love a good granola bar, but have yet to make my own. Lovely recipe!

  30. susan says

    these look perfect, Carolyn! I love a good homemade granola bar and I am certain that these do not disappoint. xx

  31. Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having says

    These look amazing! I've tried to make granola bars before, but haven't managed to make them chewy yet. I can't wait to try this recipe!

  32. baking.serendipity says

    I love homemade granola bars and your ingredients look delicious! I've never added ginger to mine before. It's definitely a must try :)

  33. Karen says

    Yum! These look great…store-bought granola bars (even the good ones) can't compete with homemade. The ginger sounds really delicious!
    (Hope you had a great bday celebration!)

  34. Annie's Dish says

    We go through a ton of granola bars at my house too. My 13 year old boy never stops eating and they are a quick and semi healthy snack for him to grab. I've toyed with the idea of making my own before but never actually tried it. I might just have to, your look great!

  35. sara @ CaffeIna says

    Even if I don't have health issues I am a big fan of nuts & Co too. Cashews in particular are my weakness so guess why the title of this post attracted me :)
    Need to make these bars for busy days snack

  36. A little bit of everything says

    since my successful attempt in making granola bars I can't go back to store bought ones.
    i have to try your chewy bars but using walnuts, my favorite nuts.
    thanks for sharing Carolyn

  37. All That's Left Are The Crumbs says

    Carolyn I am always looking for snacks like this. These sound so good and I am a big fan of ginger. I have just added it to my shopping list so I can make them this week.

  38. Susi says

    We eat a lot of Granola Bars and these sound like a great flavor combination unlike anything I have made before. These are definitely going on my must-make list!
    BTW I've ordered from Oh Nuts several times now and love the quality of their nuts along with the selection they offer!

  39. Kim - Liv Life says

    Carolyn, these bars are beyond amazing! I hope you don't mind that we posted our version. They were a resounding hit. This recipe is so versatile, so many different nuts, fruits, additions would work so well that the opportunities are endless! Best ever!!!

  40. Delishhh says

    These look fabulous. I am going to save them and try it out. My husband is diabetic as well and i make a lot of sugar free muffins for breakfast. But these have a lot of sugar in them, do you replace the sugar with something else. Now going to check out all your other recipes.

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