Light and Chewy Granola Bars

February 4, 2014

I love these granola bars as they are light, not to sweet and hold together well. So they are perfect to pack along for a quick snack or throw in a lunch box. They make a great meal on the go when combined with a Green Smoothie.

The recipe is very versatile and can be modified for most taste preferences. The base is rice crisps and oatmeal. They are held together with a honey/rice syrup/coconut oil mixture. And you can add any combination of dried fruit or nuts that suits your fancy.  Or add a nut butter if desired. And they can be made gluten-free.

granola bars

Granola Bars

  • 1 1/2 cup large flake rolled oats (Gluten Free if required)
  • 1 1/2 cup rice crisp cereal (Gluten Free if required)
  • 1 cup dried fruit, finely chopped if necessary
  • 1 cup chopped nuts or seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw cocoa nibs (or dark chocolate chips) or nuts or seeds
  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup nut butter (optional)

In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, rice crisps, dried fruit, nuts, seeds and cocoa nibs. ( If using chocolate chips, freeze them first and add them at the end.)

In a saucepan, bring brown rice syrup, honey, coconut oil and nut butter (if using) to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 1 minute. Pour over cereal mixture, stirring to coat evenly. (If using chocolate chips, add them now.)

Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9 inch cake pan lined with parchment paper. Press firmly with the back of a spoon, a small roller or wet hands to pack in tightly. (Careful, the mixture will be hot.)

Bake at 350F until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cook in the pan on a rack. When cool, lift parchment paper from the pan and cut into bars.  (Although I have had good success without baking the bars, just pressing into the pan and cooling, they will hold together better if baked first.)

Combination suggestions:

Almond Bars – Almond butter, 1/2 cup chopped or sliced almonds, 1/2 cup coconut, 1 cup currants, 1/2 cup sesame seeds, 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

Peanut Bars – Peanut butter, 1 cup raisins, 1 /2 cup chopped peanuts, 1/2 cup sesame seeds, 1/2 cup cocoa nibs

Coconut Bars – omit the nut butter, 1 cup finely chopped dried mango, 1 cup coconut,  1/2 cup sesame seeds

Seed Bars – omit the nut butter, 1 cup raisins, 1/2 cup sesame seeds, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

Chocolate – I find the raw cocoa nibs work best as they don’t melt on you. However, you can substitute dark chocolate chips but I suggest freezing them first otherwise you will just end up with chocolate granola bars not chips – which is delicious as well. Also, the chocolate chips will make for a sweeter bar.

I made a batch of these and took them on our vacation. They were perfect for the staving off hunger when flying and even heldup well in the Mexican heat. Traveling as a vegan can be a challenge and these handy bars where a welcome treat.

 

 

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