My kitchen is always woefully lacking in snacks. We rarely have anything you could describe as ready-to-eat, besides fruit. I’m always lamenting that we don’t have any food, only ingredients. The only time it occurs to me to buy snacks is when we have guests coming over.
I’m usually content to eat a piece of fruit when the mid-day hunger hits, but lately I’ve been working out mid-day and I need a little boost. The solution is homemade granola bars.
These vegan granola bars are loaded with good stuff. They are only mildly sweet, which helps keep them from crossing the line in to cookie territory. I love cookies, but if I want a cookie…I will eat a cookie.
The recipe calls for oat flour. I just throw oats into the blender and mix it until it becomes a flour. It is really easy! I also used sunflower seeds, chia seeds, dried cranberries and chocolate chips. You can replace all of those things with the nuts, seeds or dried fruit of your choice. The recipe is flexible that way.
Be sure to toast the oats and coconut first, this brings out the natural sweetness and proper texture. It will keep them from tasting too raw. I toasted mine in the oven, keeping a very close eye on the trays and stirring the mixture around frequently for even cooking.
- 3 cups quick cooking oats
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut (shredded or flaked)
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup chia seeds
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup oat flour
- 1 cup mashed banana (2 bananas mixed in the blender)
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- Pre-heat oven to 350F
- Combine the oats and coconut together and spread evenly on two cookie sheets.
- Toast the oat and coconut mixture in the oven until lightly browned, about 10-15 minutes. Be sure to watch the mixture closely and stir occasionally to avoid burning.
- Remove the trays from the oven and allow the mixture to cool for about 10 minutes.
- While the mixture is cooling, line two 8x8 cake pans with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the oat/coconut mixture with the sunflower seeds, chia seeds, craisins and oat flour.
- In a separate bowl, mix the banana, peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut sugar and vanilla.
- Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir until the oats and coconut are completely coated.
- Add the chocolate chips and stir until evenly combined.
- Press the mixture into the prepared cake pans.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let them cool completely before cutting into bars.
- Store in the fridge in an airtight container.
They make a great grab-and-go energy bar or you can break one up into your yogurt at breakfast. This recipe makes a large batch. You can always freeze some after they have cooked.