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Nut-Free Granola Bars

Nut-Free Granola Bars

A few weeks ago, I posted a photo on Facebook and Instragram of nut-free granola bars.

Every time I post foodie pics, I get requests for recipes, but this one had the most. Seriously, I pass people in the street and they ask when this recipe is coming out.

I get why everyone is after it. This was the first year one of my kids was in a total nut-free class room.  After my initial frustration, I figured no big deal, I will use one of those peanut butter substitutes you can find.

Well… as the label reader I am, I took one look at the nut-free butters and was appalled the top ingredients include icing sugar. It didn’t matter what brand I checked, they were all not going to make it into the kids’ lunches.

That led me to down the creative path in order to make something that would fuel their bodies, was balanced, and tastes great.

So this is the week. I am giving up my nut-free, easy-to-make vegan granola bars!

Nut-Free Granola Bars

Nut-Free Granola Bars
 
By:
Recipe type: Snack
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sunflower seed or pumpkin seed butter
  • ⅓ cup coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • ½ cup of honey (or brown rice syrup or agave nectar)
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsps pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups slow cook oats (old fashioned)
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup raisins (or cranberries)
  • ¼ cup ground flax
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 1-2 Tbsps maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cream the sunflower seed or pumpkin seed butter, coconut sugar, honey, coconut oil, and vanilla together. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. This mixture needs to stick together. Squeeze a bit in your hand and test it. If it seems dry, add 1-2 tbsps of maple syrup. Test again.
  5. If it still seems dry, while mixing, drizzle extra honey, or agave, until it easily holds its shape when you squeeze or press it. Keep in mind, the mixture should not be too wet either.
  6. Press mixture, firmly, into a 13 x 9 baking dish. Press as hard as you can.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool on a rack.

This recipe is inspired by the Peanut Butter Granola Bars from Meals in Minutes, the cook book used in my Rock Your Nutrition program.

There might be a bit of trial and error regarding the consistency. Don’t panic. If they crumble when you cut the bars, you now have some yummy granola for the week.

Each batch may be a bit different depending on the seed butter. Sometimes, I need to add extra honey and sometimes I don’t. And guess what? Sometimes, even I end up with granola!

These are so delicious, but use self control. A little goes a long way. Use them as a nice snack or pair them with an apple.

I hope your family loves them as much as mine.  Enjoy,

Love,

Karen

 

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