During my senior year of high school, I jam-packed my afternoons with lots of extracurricular activities: marching band practices, our high school’s musical, teaching elementary school kids flute and piano lessons, taking my own flute and sax lessons, announcing baseball games (my favorite!), and daily workouts on our elliptical trainer… To name a few.
With earning straight A’s in my classes as my top priority, I pored over my homework during the rest of my time, scribbling down answers to tough calculus problems and reading various Shakespeare plays until I closed my textbooks to turn out the light and go to bed. As a result, Dad generously offered to pack my lunch each evening to give me a few extra minutes of rest.
I have the best dad in the world.
While the main “entrée” varied between sandwiches, yogurts, and other protein-packed options, I almost always found the same type of granola bar that Dad tucked in for our school’s designated 3rd period snack break. During the first 10 minutes of class, the video production team aired a daily bulletin with clips about upcoming sports matches, school-wide dances, and other important news, and our teachers allowed us to eat while we watched the TV segment.
After sliding into my seat, I reached into my black tote bag with a few large musical notes printed on the front (I ditched my regular backpack that year, and my posture completely improved because of it!) to grab the granola bar from my brown bag lunch. I carefully peeled back the foil wrapper and slowly nibbled on the small 100-calorie snack, usually the oatmeal raisin or chocolate chunk flavors, taking itty bitty mouse-sized bites and saving the pieces with the most chocolate for last.
Once a chocoholic, always a chocoholic… That’s why I published my Healthier Chocolate Treats cookbook!
When I recently stopped by the local high school to visit my friend who works in the attendance office, I remembered those fond memories of my 3rd period snacks… But instead of driving to the grocery store to get my fix, I baked these Healthy Chocolate Chip Granola Bar Bites instead. They have the same chewy texture and plenty of chocolate (just look at all of those decadent chips!), but they contain just 8 healthy ingredients and no corn syrup, refined sugar, artificial ingredient or preservatives.
I just checked the ingredients on the labels of those granola bars I used to eat… And yes, all of those things were listed. Plus more. Yikes!!
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY CHOCOLATE CHIP GRANOLA BAR BITES
To make these healthy homemade granola bar bites, you’ll start with old-fashioned oats and brown rice cereal. I know, I know… Brown rice cereal?? That probably sounds a little strange, but I promise it works! The brown rice cereal accentuates the granola bars’ chewiness after it has been baked, and it also helps hold together the granola bars.
This is the kind of brown rice cereal that I buy, and you can find it at many health-oriented grocery stores. My local Safeway even started to stock it! You can substitute regular crisp rice cereal, as well as lightly crushed rice pocket cereal.
Next, you’ll mix in a combination of honey and egg whites. Just like the brown rice cereal, the egg whites may sound strange… But they add a protein boost and also act as the glue that holds together the two different cereals.
Finally, my chocholic heart’s favorite part… The mini chocolate chips! I highly recommend using mini chips because their smaller size ensures that every granola bar bite contains many morsels of chocolate, and it also allows the bars to stick together better. (Regular-sized chocolate chips are large enough that the granola bars would start to fall apart!) These are the mini chips that I buy because I love their rich flavor and they turn perfectly melty in the oven.
Snack time! And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees that I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your healthy chocolate chip granola bar bites!
Healthy Chocolate Chip Granola Bar Bites
- 1 tsp coconut oil, melted
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- ¼ cup (60g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt, room temperature
- 3 tbsp (45mL) honey
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups (45g) crisp brown rice cereal
- 1 cup (100g) old-fashioned oats (measured like this and gluten-free if necessary)
- 2 ½ tbsp (35g) miniature chocolate chips (divided)
- Preheat the oven to 300°F, and lightly coat an 8”-square pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut oil and egg whites. Add in the Greek yogurt, honey, and salt, stirring after each addition until thoroughly incorporated. Stir in the rice cereal and oats. Gently fold in 2 tablespoons of miniature chocolate chips.
- Gently press the mixture into the prepared pan using a spatula, and gently press the remaining chocolate chips into the top. Bake at 300°F for 16-19 minutes or until light golden and the center feels firm to the touch. Cool completely to room temperature in the pan before slicing into squares.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
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♡ Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Energy Bites