Goji Berry Coconut Chocolate Granola Bars from Veggie Paradise’s Blog
homemade granola bars!

homemade granola bars!

This granola bar recipe is even easier than baking cookies!

* For my add-ins I used goji berries, semi-sweet chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, & coconut flakes and I did the “New: stickier, chewier version” below, where you melt the butter, honey and vanilla together first for a few mins, then mix in. *
Ingredients
1 c. butter, softened (I used 1/2 cup organic butter and 1/2 cup coconut oil)
4 1/2 c. rolled oats (I used 4 cups)
1 c. honey (I used 1/2 cup and they were still very sweet!)
1 ½ c. whole wheat or spelt flour (I used almond meal/flour)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 cups of add-ins: mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, coconut, chia seeds, other nuts…
Makes at least 20 bars, equivalent to about 3 boxes processed bars
Directions
Lightly grease a 9”×13” glass pan with coconut oil. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, honey, and, vanilla. Tip: If your butter isn’t softened, use a rolling pin and roll it between two sheets of wax paper. Or cut it into cubes and then put it in some cool water. It will soften in about 10 minutes.
Add the oats, flour, and baking soda. Beat well until combined. Stir in add-ins by hand. Press mixture hard into pan. (You can use your hands!) I use the back of a spatula.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 15-22 minutes until just golden brown on the edges.
You will think they are too soft. They are not. Just remind yourself that there’s not even any egg in the recipe, so you can’t hurt anybody if you underbake. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into bars. Let bars cool completely in pan before removing and serving. Store at room temperature or freeze.
*NEW: Stickier, Chewier Granola Bars: The one drawback of this original recipe is that it tends to be a bit crumbly, especially if you overbake the bars even slightly. You can avoid that by melting the butter, honey and vanilla in a saucepan and cooking on low for 5 minutes after the butter melts, then mixing the liquid ingredients into the dry.
NEW: Crispy Bars (the stick together trick): After cooling and cutting bars apart, place them separately on a cookie sheet or baking stone, spaced out at least an inch from one another. Toast in a 325-350F oven for 10-13 minutes until just browning on the edges. Watch closely for over browning. You will think this trick didn’t work when you take them out, but don’t touch! Let everything cool completely right on the cookie sheet, and you’ll have a healthy snack that truly deserves the term “to go.” Once completely cooled, they will be slightly crispy on the outside and have much more structural integrity.
A reader also tells me one can take parchment paper and simply manually press down on the just-baked bars, compressing them, which holds them together well.
Variations
✔ Add ¼ c. cocoa powder to the dry ingredients; no chocolate chips needed.
✔ Use ½ c. natural peanut butter, almond butter or sunbutter in place of ½ c. of the butter (stay on the short side of baking time as nut butters can dry out the bars).
✔ Use a large cookie sheet and press the bars more thinly, then do the ‘crispy bar’ trick for totally crispy granola bars (or put a half batch into a 9×13 pan – just be sure to really press them together before baking.
FAQs
✔ Can I make these gluten free? Just sub GF all-purpose flour or almond flour for the whole wheat and it should work fine.
✔ How about dairy free? Coconut oil works fine in place of butter, especially in the nut butter versions.
✔ How long is the shelf life? Seriously, I found a bar in our diaper bag that had been there for months, and it was perhaps a bit lower on the quality scale, but no mold or other issues that would deem them inedible. Generally they are gone so quickly you don’t have to worry about shelf life!
✔ Can I use less honey? Honey is expensive and the “unhealthy” ingredient in this recipe. When you heat the honey, you can definitely cut it down by at least 1/3 cup and everything still holds together. I also had success substituting natural applesauce for up to 1/2 cup honey, but the resulting bars weren’t very sweet. The chocolate chips were a necessity.
✔ Do I need raw honey? No. In fact, you’ll lose any health benefits of the raw honey by baking the bars, so you may want to use the least expensive honey you can find.
Green Quinoa Pancakes by the beautiful Lisa Martin Wilcher
Recipe:
2 cups sprouted quinoa
1-2 tblsp raw honey
splash almond milk
3 tblsp coconut oil
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tblsp b. powder
1/4 tsp sea salt.
Directions:
Vitamix quinoa first and add wet ingredients. Then mix dry ingredients and blend in separately. At the very end blend in as many handfuls of spinach as you like. Heat coconut oil in cast iron skillet- grill – add coconut butter or maple syrup and enjoy!
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