Granola Bars

by Maggie on May 16, 2010

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These are a healthy treat worthy of any lunchbox.

I think you’ll really like these granola bars.  You can basically add any ingredients your gluten-free heart desires – which is the great thing about Granola Bars.

Want raisins?  Throw ‘em in.  Want chocolate chips?  Throw ‘em in.

I wanted dates.  I’m on a bit of a date kick.  I get this 3pm sugar craving thing (please tell me I’m not the only one) and I’ve been trying to curb it with something a little healthier.  So when it gets to be that time (the voices in my head tell me to go get something sugary), I’ve been eating a date or two instead.  And it’s actually been working!  For five whole days now.

So when I was working on this recipe, I decided to add dates!

The other key ingredient is honey.  It’s the only sweetener in this recipe and that makes me very excited.  You could add agave or maple syrup if you’re not feeling the honey love.

Gluten-Free Granola Bars

2 cups quinoa flakes (certified gluten-free oats would work too)

1 cup blanched almond meal

3/4 cup chopped dates

1/2 cup ground walnuts/cashews

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped pecans (any type of nuts would work)

1/2 cup melted coconut oil (sunflower oil or another oil would work here too)

1/2 cup honey (good honey, local honey if possible)

3 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce

2 tsp vanilla

sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9×13 pan with aluminum foil and oil the aluminum foil.

In a large bowl, stir together the quinoa flakes, almond meal, dates, ground walnuts, sea salt, cinnamon, and chopped nuts.

In a smaller bowl, combine the coconut oil, honey, apple sauce and vanilla.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine.  Use a wet spatula to press the mixture into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle granola bars with desired amount of sesame seeds.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Cool in the pan.  Once cooled, remove the granola bars (still in foil) and cut into desired sizes.  Refrigerate granola bars in an air-tight container or wrapped in saran wrap.  These can easily be stored in the freezer for future use.

I’ve entered these in The Secret Ingredient Challenge hosted by Jenn Cuisine. It’s a weekly recipe roundup which features an ingredient of the week. The hosting blogger posts the ingredient on Monday and participating bloggers have the week to create a recipe using the secret ingredient! Have you checked out Jenn’s blog? Oh my goodness, she knows what she’s doing!

You can also find this recipe and many more ‘slightly indulgent’ recipes at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free