Thursday, May 25, 2017

Crunchy Granola Bars

Yield: 8x8 pan

1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup sliced almonds (or sunflower seeds or other nut)
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
2/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut 
1/4 tsp salt
5 medjool dates, finely chopped
2 tbsp almond butter (or other nut or seed butter)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup (or brown rice syrup)

Topping (optional):
1/2 cup vegan dark chocolate
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp sea salt or hemp seeds

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line an 8x8 square pan with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, flaxseed meal, coconut, and salt. Stir to combine.
3. Add dates to the bowl. Using your hands, mix dates into the oats, ensuring dates are evenly dispersed.
4. In a small saucepan, add almond butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup. Bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and immediately add to the oats. Stir to coat all the dry ingredients.
5. Place the mixture in the prepared baking pan and spread into an even layer. Then top with another layer of parchment paper and press down with something flat to press into an even, uniform layer.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan. 
7. Once cooled, lift out of the pan and slice into desired number of bars. 
8. Topping (optional): Melt dark chocolate and coconut oil in a small mixing bowl over a double boiler on the stovetop. Spoon a small amount over the bars in a drizzle pattern or cover half of the bar with chocolate. Top with sea salt or hemp seeds.
9. Once bars have dried/cooled, store covered at room temperature for 5 days or in the freezer up to 1 month.

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