super delicious granola bars made without sugar, dairy, butter or oil...
Ok, I know you are thinking that is impossible. Or, they must taste gross. But in fact, these are super amazing granola bars that you will love. I altered the recipe a bit from the original I found on tree hugger.com. I am not vegan, so I use honey instead of their suggested agave (and I suggest you do too because honey is less processed). This recipe is super flexible -- try out new dried fruits, nuts, or other fun stuff like pumpkin seeds. Preheat oven 325 degrees F
2 cups oats Chia seeds if you have them 1/2 cup slivered almonds (or any nut) 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (or any seed) 1/2 cup currants (or any dried fruit) a quarter of an unsweetened cocoa bar, chopped into small pieces 2 tbsp flax seed (ground or whole--ground is easier to digest but I like eating whole in a bar better) 3/4 cup peanut butter (or almond butter) 1/2 cup honey (or agave, maple syrup, brown rice syrup)
> mix all the dry ingredients together > heat the peanut butter and honey over the stove until it's a bit runny > mix all together- a spoon works, but clean hands are really the best thing for this job!
The mix should be sticking together fairly well on its own in the bowl. If not, add more peanut butter & honey until it does!
> Line a pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil (no oil remember?).
> Spread the mix into the pan and FIRMLY squish the mix in. (The original recipe mentioned something about covering with another layer of parchment paper and placing heavy books on it.. but firmly pressing in it has managed to work for me!)
> Put in the oven for 15-18 minutes -- I would check it because I just almost burnt mine. You want it to be noticeably toasty, but you know, not burnt.
> Let granola bars fully cool (patience is key! you'll have better results if you cut them once fully cooled!).
> Then cut into bars! I've had both success and less success making them into bars and changed ratio of dry to wet ingredients to get this ratio here, so it should work well, but sometimes the ends crumble out. I actually like this because then I have granola I can eat with almond milk. So if you crumble the whole thing, it's fine. You just have more granola.