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Macaroon Monday: Vegan Granola Bars

November 7, 2010

 

I’ve always thought making my own granola bars would be a good idea. I mean, I snack on “bars” all the time – Nature Valley, Luna, Lara, etc – and the basic ingredients are pretty simple! But we always have a stash of bars in the house, and every time I feel like baking, something decadent like brownies or cookies wins out.

Not this time.

Heather’s “Macaroon Monday” was the perfect opportunity to give homemade bars a shot.

 

I browsed the web for some granola bar recipes, but kept finding ones with tons of butter and sugar in them. I wanted something a little healthier than that. I found Kath’s recipe for Baked Oatmeal Snack Bars and liked the option to add some brown sugar. It also seemed pretty flexible with add-ins, since I didn’t have the exact nuts and dried fruit on hand.

So, I put on my new apron and was off to work!

Here are the ingredients I got out:

Oatmeal, Ground Flax, Dried Cherries, Dried Apricots, Vanilla, Pecans, Agave, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Salt, and Vanilla Almond Milk.

I decided to use a flax egg (1 tbsp flax + 3 tbsp water) and to use almond milk, so these bars ended up being VEGAN! What a great way to celebrate VEGAN MO FO!

Additionally, I substituted pecans for the walnuts and added 1/4 cup dark baking chocolate because I only had a 1/2 cup ofΒ  dried cherries and dried apricots. I wish I had known the Half Marathon race expo was giving out dried pineapple, but you’ll never hear me complain about adding dark chocolate:)

choppin' away

adding wet to dry

The batter ended up VERY liquidy, but I wasn’t worried because my experience with overnight oats told me that the milk would be soaked right up! I didn’t end up adding any agave or brown sugar since I figured the chocolate would give them some extra sweetness.

Into the baking dish!

and into the oven

These baked for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. The kitchen smelled AMAZING! Gotta love the hefty dose of cinnamon Kath put in her recipe πŸ™‚

When I took them out of the oven, sure enough the liquid had been absorbed. I let them cool for a few hours while I hit up the race expo with LB.

When I got home, it was time for the taste test!!

VERDICT: These are not necessarily a “granola bar” because they aren’t at all crunchy (which Kath warned of). Instead they are very moist, almost like a bread pudding. If you get a bit without dried fruit or chocolate, the taste is pretty bland. But with those add-ins, they have the perfect subtle sweetness. I really like them, but I like healthified food. I’m curious to see what co-workers say when I take them to work on Monday. I think I’ll suggest spreading jam or almond butter on top!

I’m really glad I finally made my own snack bars. I’ll likely still buy my Luna and Lara to eat regularly, but knowing that there is an easy and flexible recipe available is great! Next I might actually try making a crispier bar more along the lines of Nature Valley.

Thank you Heather, for inspiring us all to try something new!

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. November 7, 2010 8:53 pm

    Your granola bars sound great! I actually don’t like very crunchy granola, so a moist bar sounds great!

  2. November 8, 2010 7:40 am

    I’m the same way with added sugar… if I’m baking with fruit or chocolate, I never feel like it needs more sweetness than that!

  3. November 8, 2010 9:28 am

    These look super yummy! I love making my own snacks and granola bars. The best part is inventing new, fun flavor combos.

  4. Melissa @ HerGreenLife permalink
    November 8, 2010 10:27 am

    I made these several months ago and stuck them in the freezer so they would be ready for a quick snack. I tossed a few of them in my bag before a trip, and they really came in handy when I was stuck in a hotel without a free breakfast and trying to save my per diem for lunch and dinner πŸ™‚

  5. November 8, 2010 12:31 pm

    I haven’t made my own baked granola bars in ages.. but I did make some put-in-fridge-slice-eat! bars the other day πŸ˜‰

  6. November 8, 2010 2:41 pm

    I started making my own bars a few months ago and I love it! I can control the ingredients and sugar. I still keep some Bare Naked bars on hand for emergencies, but I have a habit of making a batch of bars each weekend. πŸ™‚ Yours look good! Mine is very similar to yours and I like the cake-like texture.

  7. November 9, 2010 8:05 am

    I bought ingredients to make some vegan granola bars like a month ago and still haven’t gotten around to making them. I don’t know why I’m so intimidated by it. This may be the week I get to it!

    Yours look really good. Really crunchy granola is hard for me to eat, so I actually prefer a bit of a softer bar. When I get a food processor (hopefully the hubby is getting one for me for Christmas…I’ve been dropping major hints), I want to make some that are like the Larabars.

  8. November 9, 2010 3:55 pm

    These sound great! I’ve never quite gotten the texture right with granola bars, but that’s OK because I don’t mind soft and chewy. In fact, I think I prefer it.

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