CRUNCHY BAKED GRANOLA AND DARK CHOCOLATE BARS
Who doesn’t like a bit of chocolate as a healthy snack?! I know right…..
Well, the Minimalist Baker one of my favourite website for healthy recipes, just nailed this one!
- 1 cup (90 g) rolled oats
- 1/3 cup (30 g) raw slivered almonds (or sub sunflower seeds or other nut)
- 1/4 cup (28 g) flaxseed meal
- 2/3 cup (49 g) desiccated unsweetened coconut (if large flakes, chop or blend into small pieces)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/3 cup (~ 5 dates or 35 g) chopped dates (or sub another sticky dried fruit)
- 2 Tbsp (32 g) almond butter (or another nut or seed butter)
- 2 Tbsp (45 g) melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup (or sub brown rice syrup for a less sweet bar)
For Topping – optional
- 1/2 cup (60 g) chopped vegan dark chocolate
- 1 Tbsp (15 g) coconut oil
- 1 tsp sea salt or hemp seeds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and arrange oats and almonds on a bare baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until slightly toasted. They shouldn’t be browned, just slightly toasted for more flavor. Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees F (162 C).
- In the meantime, add flaxseed meal, desiccated coconut, and sea salt to a large mixing bowl and stir. Set aside.
- Once oats and almonds are toasted, add to the mixing bowl along with chopped dates. Loosely stir to combine and set aside.
- Add almond butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup to a small saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Then remove from heat and immediately add to the oats (see photo).
- Use a mixing spoon (or your hands) to mix thoroughly, ensuring that the dates and the almond butter mixture are evenly dispersed and coating all of the dry ingredients.
- Add the mixture to a parchment-lined 8×8-inch baking pan and spread into an even layer. Then top with another layer of parchment paper and press down with something flat – such as a measuring cup – to press into an even, uniform layer.
- Bake at 325 degrees F (162 C) for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan. Transfer to the freezer to speed cooling time.
- Once cooled, lift out of the pan and slice into desired number of bars. I went with 6 bars, but you could easily do 8 bars or 12 squares.
- Optional: Melt dark chocolate and coconut oil in a small mixing bowl in the microwave or over a double boiler on the stovetop. Spoon a small amount over the bars in a drizzle pattern or cover half of the bar with chocolate. Top with sea salt or hemp seeds.
- Once bars have dried/cooled, store covered at room temperature for 5 days or in the freezer up to 1 month.