Only 2 days through my now-infamous McDougall week, I caved. My stomach was demanding a mid-afternoon snack, and I got caught at work without access to suitable food. The next thing I knew my legs had carried me to the vending machine. I don’t remember buying it, but somehow 85 cents ended up in the machine and a granola bar ended up in my hand. It was like magic, I swear. I was probably possessed.
I didn’t actually feel bad about caving, but it was not something I wanted to repeat. Thus, it became critical to find an oil-free granola bar. I know that a l’arabar would have been acceptable, but they charge a buck sixty for those things, and they are pretty much mashed up dates. They are delicious and good in a pinch, but they are not what I would consider a granola bar.
A granola bar should have, well,  granola in it. However, granola is chock full of fat, so I had to go to the source: the oat. Oats are just as good as granola; they just haven’t been toasted with a lot of oil and sugar. In a way, it’s granola in it’s natural habitat. I perused the McDougall forums and found a recipe that looked promising, except it was missing a very key ingredient: carob chips. I understand that I probably screwed up the entire “no-oil” guideline by the addition of these sweet little darlings, but they made my granola bars something like ten thousand times as delicious. Plus, even with a couple of carob chips, these were much better for me than anything that ever came out of a vending machine.

DIY Granola Bars
I found the original recipe here: but added quite a bit to it. 

  • 2 cups of quick cooking oats
  • 2 bananas which have been frozen and then thawed
  • 1/2 c. cherries, pitted and cut into fourths
  • 2 TBSP carob chips
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Mash the banana well and whisk in the spices and vanilla.
Add the oats and mix. You will have almost a dough, but not quite.
Stir in the cherries and carob chips.
Spread the mixture on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for half an hour.
Cut into bars. They will be deliciously chewy.