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Chocolate Chip Cherry Granola Bars

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Cherry Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

I secretly love awkward situations.

Maybe not right while they’re happening… But when you look back, the awkward moments are the ones that always make for the best stories.

Chocolate Chip Cherry Granola Bars

This past Saturday I was meeting a friend for dinner and arrived early at the restaurant. (I’m always early to everything.) By the time my cell phone buzzed, saying my friend was going to be late, it was already approaching that awkward amount of time sitting alone at a table for two when people start to notice, probably wondering if I’d been stood up.

Or if I had fat hands.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Sorry, Friends reference. I couldn’t resist.

Luckily the waiter was really nice, so I wasn’t forced to do that awkward “check your cell phone every 30 seconds to pretend you are busy” thing. At one point during our conversation, it came up that I had a website devoted to desserts, and he was intrigued…

Waiter: “Desserts? Like ice cream and cake?”

Me: “Yes, but healthy desserts.”

Waiter: “So you make granola bars for a living?”

Chocolate Chip Cherry Granola Bars

Yes. Yes I do. 🙂

Cherry Granola Bars


Chocolate Chip Cherry Granola Bars

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  • 1 cup applesauce (240g)
  • 1/2 cup cashew or coconut butter (110g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (6g)
  • packed 3/4 cup dried cherries (100g)
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds (70g)
  • 1 cup puffed wheat or puffed rice (18g)
  • 1 cup rolled oats (95g)
  • 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp salt
  • pinch pure stevia or 2 tbsp liquid sweetener of choice (decrease applesauce by 2 tbsp if using liquid sweetener)
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (40g)
  • coconut butter, optional


Preheat oven to 325 F and line a 10-in square baking pan with parchment paper. In a bowl, stir together the applesauce and nut butter until smooth. (If your nut butter is not stir-able, gently heat it until it softens.) Stir in vanilla, then set bowl aside. In a food processor, combine the dried fruit and almonds until they form fine crumbles. Pour into a large mixing bowl and stir together with all remaining dry ingredients (the last 5 ingredients). Add the nut-butter mixture and stir until evenly combined, then smooth into the prepared baking pan and cover with another sheet of parchment paper. Press down VERY firmly. Bake 33 minutes, then allow to cool 10 minutes before slicing into bars. Top each bar with coconut butter if desired, and refrigerate to harden. (Makes 20-22 bars)

*View Granola Bars Nutrition Facts*

cashew butter

More awkwardness: trying to master the iphone selfie talent some people seem to have down so well. It’s surprisingly difficult to hold something in one hand while taking a picture with the other. Not to mention, I felt ridiculously awkward posing with a jar of cashew butter…

Do you like awkward moments? And have you ever been stood up?

Although I’ve not been stood up, I definitely do have some awkward first-date stories! Probably shouldn’t write them here, though, since I never know who might read this post. 😕 Link of the Day:

500 Healthy Dessert Recipes

Happy National Dessert Day!

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. I love that the waiter automatically assumed that healthy desserts=granola bars. I hope you told him the name of your blog so he can look you up & get an education on what *real* healthy desserts are :).

    I agree, awkward situations are way funnier after the fact. Or when they happen to someone in a tv show or movie. But as for me, during the fact, I’m not a fan!

  2. becauseHeloves! says:

    You should so try carrot-cake baked oatmeal in honor of Halloween! Yes? Pleeeaaaseee! And amazing website, by the way. I’m a recent convert to healthy eating, and this is a blessing! The black-bean brownies and flourless chocolate chip cookies are my favorites. And the brownie-cookies. My mom loves those.
    Anyway, thanks for doing what you do. (:

  3. Petrina S. says:

    These granola bars look great and I have all the ingredients already! I will probably try these today. When I try to click on the nutrition information link, it takes me to the Recipes page, though. Anyone else have this problem?

  4. Tabi says:

    These look delish! For some reason when I click on the nutrition facts it takes me to the healthy dessert recipes page (same as your link of the day)? Might be just my computer acting weird but thought I should let you know!

  5. Denise says:


    Someone just turned me on to your blog and also “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook (also a blog). I’m so excited to look through your blog. Denise

  6. Muskaan says:

    Oh my gosh, I needed a good granola bar recipe!
    I need to sneak food in during classes (hehe) and what a better way than to have granola bars?
    None, I tell you.
    Anyway, I think you accidentally linked the wrong thing to the nutrition facts, because it takes me back to the recipes page.
    Thanks anyway! 🙂

  7. Emily says:

    AWKWARD MOMENTS!! i love awkward moments! like this one time in third grade when some random kid asked my friend and i what we were going to be for halloween. (we didn’t know him. at all.)
    I just tried your chewy quaker granola bars and they were HEAVEN! so i think i might be making these soon. (chocolate + cherry? yes!!) 🙂

  8. omg I LOVE awkward moments, but I’m awful at keeping a straight face so I often laugh when inappropriate…

  9. miki says:

    Can’t get to the nutritions. ?????

  10. Great recipe! I will be trying this for sure!

    FYI – giveaway at my blog!
    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  11. Dianne says:

    Katie when I click on your nutrition facts it takes me to your healthy desserts. I would really like to see the nutrition facts please. Thank you.

    1. Emily says:

      22 bars, using stevia/Jif cashew butter:
      about 80 calories, 4 g fat

      1. Emily says:

        Sorry. That should be about100 cal.

  12. I’m usually the late one, so I avoid situations like that. I feel bad for my on-time friends though.

  13. Erica says:

    These look amazing. Can’t wait to make them. The nutrition link doesn’t link to the nutrtional value but instead goes to a listing of desserts. Can you fix that so I know the nutrition on these bars. Thx so much.

  14. Yum, dried cherries! A favorite of mine, especially when paired with chocolate!

  15. Ari says:

    Love the selfie! 🙂 I’ve never been good at them either!

    And those bars sound like the perfect on the go treat!

  16. Gretchen says:

    Do you bake them with the parchment on top? I am assuming you just use it to push down the top and then remove it, but it never says to remove…

  17. Josephine says:

    But that selfie is so cute! 🙂 You did master it. And give me a granola bar please?

  18. Susan says:

    To answer your questions: no I don’t like awkward moments, and yes I have been stood up. It was a very long time ago, probably more than 26 years ago. The only thing I remember about it is that it made me extremely anxious.

    In your ‘selfie’ I like that the jar and your one hand are so much larger than than the rest of you…

    I like the sound of this recipe. I would probably add some protein powder, because I do that to everything – because I want higher protein levels than most people.

  19. Belle says:

    Hahaha, that’s funny!

    I think I’m of that apparently bizarre and strange group of people that really, truly, honestly doesn’t care what other people think and so sitting alone hasn’t ever bothered me. Weird, huh? My husband doesn’t believe me but it’s true. I do not care what other people think (except a few close friends/family whose opinions I respect), now that’s not to say that I do not value manners and respect and courtesy! I DO! Treat others the way you wish to be treated!

    Anyhow…. keep up the chocolate covered yumminess! You rock girl and keep your head up 😉 don’t let anyone make you feel uncomfortable for being the awesome you that you are!

  20. Lark says:

    These look very tasty, cherries are great for reducing inflammation, so I’m always looking for good ways to incorporate them into my diet. You are so creative!
    Awkward moment: At church camp, a large, brown moth dropped from a tree into the square-necked bodice of my dress and began flapping wildly. I was 14 years old and was being escorted by my first date to an evening service. He and his three older brothers who witnessed this scene fell down on the ground laughing. I had to reach into my dress to remove the traumatized moth. I was unable to speak for the rest of the evening.

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