Thursday, July 21, 2016

Recipe: Super Seedy Granola Bars For a Festival! (Vegan)


I've got a few race recaps on the docket, but first, there are more pressing matters to attend to: Festival snacks!

The greatest weekend of all the weekends of the year is upon us. It is the eve of the Newport Folk Festival. Although Chris and I will be participating in an abbreviated version of this weekend's events (Chris is in a good friend's wedding on Saturday), we couldn't be more excited to lay out our blanket, drag out our cooler, and soak in the music-filled breeze at Fort Adams on Sunday.



In the spirit of music festival stereotypes, I will share my new favorite granola bar recipe. These granola bars are seriously addictive. As I was packaging them away, I found myself driven to cut off the edges of the "crooked ones" and eat the leftovers. Obviously, all of the bars were "crooked ones".

The recipe is from Dana at Minimalist Baker. It is one of her many simple granola bar recipes and it is full of seeds, sweetened by dates and maple syrup, and so very good. I didn't change much from her original recipe. I simply added dried tart cherries and chopped dark chocolate and I cut the bars into smaller servings than suggested.

Super Seedy Granola Bars
adapted, very slightly, from Minimalist Baker

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 heaping packed cup medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbsp flax seeds
  • 2 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter (I used Teddie peanut butter)
  • 1/3 cup dried unsweetened tart cherries (optional*)
  • 40g (1.4 oz) chopped dark chocolate (optional*)

Instructions
  1. Toast your oats and almonds in a 350 degree oven for 13-15 minutes or until slightly golden brown. 
  2. Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute) and dates have a dough-like consistency. Mine rolled into a ball.
  3. Pour oats, almonds, and dates into a large mixing bowl. Add all of the seeds and set aside.
  4. Warm maple syrup and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout. Use a spoon or your hands to thoroughly mix. Add in cherries and chocolate and mix again until evenly distributed.
  5. Transfer to an 8x8 dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily. I only have a 9x13 pan, so I used 2/3 of the pan. 
  6. Cover the mixture with parchment or plastic wrap and press down with something flat, such as  a book, to get them flat and packed tight. This will help prevent them from crumbling. Chill in the freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden. 
  7. Remove bars from dish and chop into 20 even bars (the original recipe called for 10, but I like smaller snack-size bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. I like them best straight out of the freezer.
* You don't need the dried fruit or chocolate, but I think they taste excellent. You could substitute in raisins, dried cranberries, etc. Although I chopped up a dark chocolate bar I had hanging out in my freezer, you could also use vegan chocolate chips, etc. 








Newport, we're ready for you!

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