Lemon Cranberry Walnut White Chocolate Bars.
Oat bars packed with crunchy toasted walnuts, sweet and tart dried cranberries, creamy white chocolate, tart lemon juice and lemon zest for the perfect family-friendly summertime snack or dessert.
I’ve been craving lemony things recently – lemon bars, lemonade, lemony salad dressings, etc. Likely summertime is the cause…or pregnancy…or both. Doesn’t lemon just make everything seem brighter, more tart, sweeter and more fresh? We purchase a LOT of lemons and limes in our house, because you can add do much flavor and freshness with a squeeze of a lemon or lime plus their zest. And we add lemon to water, tea, mocktails/cocktails, etc.
These bars incorporate the juice and zest of two lemons, which pair so perfectly with the white chocolate and cranberries. The bars are also chock full of toasted walnuts which add plant-powered protein, satiating fiber and heart-smart omega 3 fats.
Disclosure: I serve on the health professional board for the California Walnut Board and Commission, however, I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.
Homemade granola and oat bars are so easy to make (these are no exception), plus you get to control exactly what goes in them. That means you can limit the added sugar and salt and you’ll typically end up with a healthier bar than one you can purchase at your local supermarket. And, you can use up any ingredients you have on had – dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, etc.
What kind of homemade granola bars do you like to make? Do you have go-to ingredients that you always include?
These bars could be a snack or a dessert – or both. If you want a lighter option, omit the white chocolate topping, like below.
I’ve been loving a square of these summery bars mid-day when I am craving something sweet, yet hearty and satisfying enough to ward off hunger until dinner time. Being almost 34 weeks pregnant (where does the time go?!), I am finding my meals need to be much smaller, so I need to eat more frequently throughout the day to keep my energy up while not feeling too full (a full pregnant belly is the worst!).
These bars are special enough to take to a summer party or bbq, but every day enough to enjoy, well, everyday. Depending on how large you cut them, they’ll make about 16 bars. They freeze well too, so if you’re not going to eat them within a couple days, pop them in the freezer in a freezer safe container.
Scroll down for the recipe and don’t forget to PIN for later. If you make them, I’d love to hear from you – stop by and tell me how you liked them!
- • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- • ¼ cup honey
- • 1 tablespoon Rodelle vanilla paste (or extract)
- • 1/2 teaspoon salt
- • juice and zest of 2 lemons
- • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- • 2 cups walnuts, toasted and chopped*
- • 1 cup dried cranberries
- • 4 oz white chocolate, roughly chopped
- • 1 cup white chocolate melting wafers
- Preheat the oven to 325. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper and spray it lightly with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, honey, vanilla paste, salt, lemon juice and lemon zest. Add oats, walnuts, cranberries and white chocolate and stir to combine.
- Press mixture evenly into prepared baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned at the edges.
- Remove from oven and prepare white chocolate topping. Heat white chocolate melting wafers in the microwave in 20-30 second increments, stirring after each increment until melted.
- Pour white chocolate overtop granola bars and spread evenly with a knife.
- Let cool, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour. Remove bars from pan and parchment and place onto a cutting board. Slice bars with a sharp knife.
- Store in a covered container in the fridge, or freeze for later use.
Toast walnuts in a single layer at 350 degrees F for 5-7 minutes until fragrant.