I cooked a lot over the holidays, and I even took photos of a few things I thought I might share with you guys (Christmas morning sticky buns, braised short ribs, and other such decadence.) But alas, they’ll have to wait for another day, because I am just over overindulgence right now, and really feel like I can’t look at one more tart or pudding without feeling a bit queasy. Anyone else already feeling the detox vibe? Good, because the only sweet that does still sound good are these nutty vegan granola bars I made the day after Christmas. Their flavor is a bit cookie-like, but they’re packed full of only the good stuff: seeds, nuts, amaranth and dates as a natural sweetener. And heaven knows that Phoebe has consumed enough Christmas cookies to last an entire year, so these are a healthy snack that makes us all happy. So pour yourself a glass of green juice, and start 2014 right by making a batch of these protein-packed, won’t-weigh-you-down granola bars.
If some of the bars fall apart when you slice them (like mine did), no sweat! Just re-shape them with your fingers and place the bars an inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or so at 350 degrees, then let cool completely on the baking sheet. No one will know the difference, and you’ll end up with extra-crunchy bars!
These are the perfect little “cheers to the new year” gift to send with your Christmas thank-you notes. (Your recipients will thank you for the break from junk food.) I packaged mine in muslin bags stamped with a little thank-you pattern that the ladies over at The Creative Parasol made for me, but you could achieve the same affect with a set of alphabet stamps. If you use gluten-free oats, these are totally vegan and gluten-free, making them the perfect gift for just about everyone.
Nutty Vegan Granola Bars
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 7 Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup roasted unsalted whole almonds
- 1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 3 tablespoons amaranth
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, bring maple syrup and dates to a boil. Let boil on medium-high heat, stirring once in awhile, for about 10 minutes until dates are very soft. Remove from heat, and stir in coconut oil and vanilla, then use a potato masher to vigorously mash until mixture is almost smooth.
- Meanwhile, line a loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on each of the long sides. Spray liberally with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, toss together nuts, seeds, raisins, amaranth, oats and salt. Pour maple syrup mixture over the top, and stir until the entire mixture is moist.
- Dump half of mixture into the loaf pan and use hands to mash it down as much as possible. (This is what binds everything together and will keep the granola bars from falling apart after they’ve cooked.) Top with the rest of the mixture, and mash it all down again. Bake for 50 minutes, until the sides are firm.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely, then turn out onto a cutting board. Make sure the mixture is completely cool, then slice into 1/2″ slices. (See note above for what to do if your granola bars fall apart.) Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
*photos by Camille, recipe adapted from this one.
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Totally feeling you on the detox thing. Had a green juice this morning!! Must make these now! 🙂
Delicious vegan food is one reason why the number of vegans has doubled in less than 3 years. Here’s a video to help everyone understand why so many people are making this life affirming choice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKr4HZ7ukSE
Join the revolution! 21-Day Vegan Kickstart http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/kickstart/kickstart-programs
This sounds super tasty and like a great thing to carry for post-workout refueling!
I have been completely obsessed with trying all sorts of breakfast bars, cookies, cupcakes you name it. I cannot wait to try these. Thanks for sharing!!
Hi Camille. Thank you for the recipe!
I have two questions: How long do they stay good? And can they be frozen?
I like to keep them in the freezer all the time — they keep for months! Hope you enjoy!
Thank you! Sounds great, then I will make a big batch!
How do you thaw them, then? Do you just leave them on the counter?
Yes, or they’re actually quite good straight out of the freezer!