Granola Bars (dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free)

We're in our last week of hockey practice here, & we've been making it through the season with these tasty, easy & quick-to-grab granola bars. We tweaked our original recipe, mostly adding almond butter & quinoa to it, & always changing up what seeds & nuts we add to the mix. It usually depends on what is available in the pantry. The chocolate adds a punch the kids can't resist. Enjoy!

After toasting your base of oats & quinoa, & whichever nuts & seeds you prefer, pour the melted sauce over them, in a large mixing bowl. Stir until everything is thoroughly coated. Then press into a parchment-lined pyrex. Chill for a few hours, then cut & enjoy! I'm usually out of parchment, so if you put it directly into the pyrex, they'll still work. It just makes it a little easier for cutting.

Homemade Granola Bars (dairy-free, nut-free)

2 cups gluten-free oats

1-cup quinoa (dry, uncooked)

1 cup unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut

1 cup nuts (almonds, cashews, or none if nut-free)

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup flax seeds

1/4 cup chia seeds

 

sauce:

1/2 cup almond butter (we use Costco Kirkland Organic, it's peanut-free)

1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup organic palm shortening or coconut oil (we use Ciranda Palm Shortening)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

1/2 cup dried fruit

1 cup chocolate chips, optional (we use Enjoy Life brand)

 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place oats, quinoa, seeds & nuts on it to toast. Toast for about 5 minutes, then stir, and toast for another 5 minutes.

2. On the stove, combine the honey, shortening, syrup, vanilla and salt. Cook until the shortening melts and almond butter dissolves, stirring occasionally.

3. In a large bowl, place the toasted oats, seeds & nuts, then pour the liquid mixture over them. Mix well, until the everything is evenly coated.

4. Let cool for a few minutes, then add dried fruit & chocolate chips (these will melt, so either let it sit long enough, or be okay with some melted chocolate ;) ).

5. When thoroughly mixed, press into a 9x13 pyrex, lined with parchment paper. You want to press really hard for a minute or two, so they really stick together.

6. Chill in the fridge for a couple hours, then cut into bars.

7. Enjoy!

*replace any seeds with your seeds of choice, same for fruit & nuts
**the almond butter can be replaced with another nut-butter or seed-butter, depending on your allergies or likes/dislikes
***you can swap the palm shortening for coconut oil; we use Ciranda brand palm shortening because it's grown according to Fair Trade & sustainable conditions