Kitchen Sink Granola Bars
These little babies are not only vegan & dairy free, but gluten-free & refined sugar-free too. Packed with loads of plant protein, this bar is pretty versatile. Great to throw in your bag for a quick healthy & very tasty snack.
These bars came about during a proper spring clean. I LOVE a kitchen cupboard clear out! A bunch of half empty bags of nuts & dried fruits I forgot were hiding in the back of my top cupboard.
With regards to the inclusions, you can add WHATEVER you like. Just keep to the proportions so you get a good 'oat to inclusion' ratio. If choosing something like dried apples, remember they weigh much less than the raisins & cherries I have chosen. So don't overload your mix.
This combo is one of my faves. I love the tartness of the cherries with the dark chocolate drizzled on top. Make them kid friendly and remove the nuts or seeds. Here are a few other things you could try instead.
Chocolate Chips . Gluten Free Pretzels . Desiccated Coconut. Freeze dried strawberries or Raspberries.
50g x Gluten Free Oat Flour — If you are not bothered about gluten free, any plain flour will work.
65g Mixed Nuts — Use whatever nuts you like. Just make sure you chop them into good bite size chunks. I have chosen Hazelnuts & Almonds
80g x Raisins
85g x Vegan Butter or Coconut Oil
85g x Agave or Maple Syrup
75g x Coconut Sugar
1 x pinch salt
Pre-Heat your oven @ 160°C Fan assisted
Using tin: Approx 8 x 4 inches. You don't want much bigger as you want to keep the bars nice and chunky. Line with parchment before you start.
- Mix oats & flour in a mixing bowl. Combine well to evenly distribute the flour.
- Chop any nuts or dried fruit that are too bulky. You want to chop them into good small bite sized chunks.
- Add your mix in’s (Seeds, nuts & dried fruit). Make sure they are mixed well. Evenly distributing the additions amongst the oats and flour.
- Place the butter, agave, maple & salt into a small saucepan & onto a medium to low heat. Slowly heat until the butter is melted. Then mix everything to combine all the ingredients well.
- Once melted, add the syrupy butter mix to the dry bowl. Mix well until fully coated in wet ingredients. No dry patches please!
- Tip the mix into the prepared tin & spread out. You want to level out well. Using the bottom of a mug or glass you can press firmly to compact the mix.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove & Cool until set.
- Place in the freezer to fully set before cutting into bars. I like to do this overnight, but if you can't wait, a couple of hours should be fine. You can eat then once they are cool enough, but you will likely not keep them in good shape to cut nicely.
- If freezing, remove after 8 hours or longer & allow to thaw for a couple of minutes before cutting into equal(ish) rectangle bars.
- If adding chocolate, carefully melt your chocolate. ***See methods below on either microwave or double boiler method. You don't want it too runny. A nice smooth flow of slightly thick chocolate will land better on your granola bars.
- Decorate how you wish. Using a piping bag is great. You can use a sandwich bag for this by placing the chocolate inside and cutting open a very small hole in one of the corners. Otherwise you can simply use a spoon to flick the chocolate over the bars.
- Place into the fridge to set. I like to keep mine in the fridge as they will last for ages. Then I always have one to throw into my bag when I'm in a rush or know I got a busy day.
- Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave on 50% power level. This lower power level is essential. Normal power will not melt the chocolate evenly and will most likely burn the chocolate.
- Timing is roughly 1 minute for 25-30g chocolate Be sure to stop the microwave and stir every 20-30 seconds. This will ensure even melting. Stirring in-between.
- Do this in 20 second increments. Chocolate will burn easily if left in too long in the microwave. Begin by melting for about 30 seconds. Then every 10-20 seconds moving forward you want to stop the microwave and give it a good stir. Give it a stir every 10-20 seconds or so. You don't need it too runny.
If you don’t have a double boiler, it is very easy to make one.
- Just add a bit of water to a sauce pan and place a heat resistant bowl on top so it is resting on the edges of the pan, but not touching the water. Heat water on low. Put chopped chocolate or chocolate chips in the bowl, stir often, and watch it melt. Remove bowl from the heat once the chocolate is melted to prevent burning. You can always reheat if it hardens.