Zander and I make these delicious and nutritious granola bars about once a week. They are an absolute staple in our home, and I cannot possibly recommend them highly enough!!!
Seriously, it is like eating a chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, but without the guilt. They are ridiculously easy to make, and you get to control the freshness and quality of the ingredients (we always use organic).
So without further ado, here is the recipe–another classic from Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows. (If you haven’t already, buy her cookbook!) 🙂
CLASSIC GLO BAR
*makes 12 bars, from The Oh She Glows Cookbook, by Angela Liddon
1½ cups rolled oats
1¼ cups brown rice crisp cereal
¼ cup hemp seeds
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 Tbsp chia seeds
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp Himalayan salt
½ cup plus 1 Tbsp brown rice syrup
¼ cup nut or seed butter—I prefer raw almond butter, but you could also use roasted almond butter, peanut butter, sunflower seed butter, etc.
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup vegan mini-chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life brand)
Line a 9-inch square cake pan with two pieces of parchment paper (one going each way). [NOTE: I use a silicone pan, so there is no need for any parchment paper.]
In a large bowl, combine the oats, rice crisp cereal, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, sesame seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt and mix. [NOTE: I always pre-measure and let Zander pour and mix the dry ingredients. He loves this!]
In a small saucepan, stir together the brown rice syrup and nut butter until well combined. Cook over medium to high heat until the mixture softens and bubbles slightly, then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. [NOTE: I always use LOW heat and never allow the mixture to bubble, because I don’t want to kill all of the good enzymes in my expensive raw almond butter. At first, I was worried that the bars wouldn’t solidify unless I allowed this mixture to slightly caramelize, but they’re just fine even if you don’t heat the sticky ingredients to the point of bubbling.]
Pour the nut butter mixture over oat mixture, using a spatula to scrape every last bit out of the pan. Stir well with large metal spoon until all of the oat mixture is coated in nut butter mixture. If using the chocolate chips, allow the mixture to cool slightly before folding in the chips. This will prevent them from melting. [NOTE: I don’t mind a little bit of melting, so I add the chocolate chips into the dry mix before pouring in the nut butter mixture. My chips always seem to stay in tact, but to be fair, that’s probably because I just barely warm up my nut butter mixture.]
Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, spreading it out into an even layer.
Lightly wet your hands and press down on the mixture to even it out. Use a pastry roller to compact the mixture firmly and evenly. This helps the bars hold together better. Press down on the edges with your fingers to even out the mixture. [NOTE: In the beginning, I just used my fingers to press down the bars, but once I realized how often we would be making them, I invested in an inexpensive pastry roller. I’m glad that I did.]
Place the pan in the freezer, uncovered, and chill for 10 minutes, or until firm. [NOTE: I place my pan onto a baking sheet to help keep it level, and I leave it in the freezer for 15 minutes.]
Lift the square out of the pan, using the parchment paper as handles, and place it on a cutting board. With a pizza roller (or a serrated knife), slice the square into 6 rows and then slice them in half to make 12 bars total. [NOTE: I just pop mine out of the silicone mold and use a knife to slice the square in half, then slice each half into six pieces.]
Wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap or foil and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Alternatively, you can store them in the freezer for up to 1 month. [NOTE: I don’t even bother with the individual wrapping. I used to, but now I just layer the bars in four alternating rows of three into a square storage container and put them into the fridge next to my homemade almond milk.]
Here’s a photo of Zander’s snack from this morning–yum! 🙂