Energy Bites and granola bars are some of my favorite healthy snacks to make.
These Vegan Granola Bars are not only tasty but also very easy to make – and gluten free. Because they can be varied easily by mixing up a few ingredients, they make the ideal midday snack.
I’m all about healthy foods that’s easy to make. I find that being healthy is all about preparation. If there’s not already a healthy option available to me when i get hungry, I always end up with a quick fix that’s usually a lot less healthy.
When I started out focusing more on my health a few years ago – I was habitually eating cake and ice cream for lunch (yikes) – I quickly realized that it required preplanning to succeed.
The healthy vegan snack options that were available at the time, were not that great, though. At least not for me, because I just can’t be satisfied with eating trail mix or fruits as a snack every day.
Because there wasn’t a whole lot of healthy vegan alternatives, I decided to experiment with creating granola bars.
It turned out that replacing butter with Coconut Oil worked like a charm, and actually added to the health benefits (lots of omega oils).
I like to make a big batch of these vegan granola bars so I have plenty to last me throughout the week.
Vegan Granola Bars
- 1 Cup Pecans
- 1 Cup Oats Gluten free
- 1/3 Cup Pine Nuts
- 1/4 Cup Flax Seeds
- 2/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
- 4 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Cups Puffed Brown Rice Cereal
- 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
- 1/2 Lemon Zest
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 Celsius). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread pecans, oats, pine nuts and flax seeds onto the sheet and bake for about 7 minutes.Take the baking tray out of the oven, and pour the contents into a mixing bowl. Combine the brown sugar, maple syrup, coconut oil, salt and vanilla extract in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until everything is melted together and the sugar is completely dissolved.Pour the melted sugar mix over the nuts in the mixing bowl. Add the oats, lemon zest and cranberries and mix well. Let it cool for 5 minutes. Line bottom and sides of a 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with parchment paper. Then lightly oil or spray with cooking spray.Transfer the oat mixture to the lined pan then use a rubber spatula or damp fingers to firmly press the mixture into the pan. Make sure to press everything hard – that will ensure that the bars will stay together once cooled and cut.Bake the granola bars for 15 minutes at 350 Fahrenheit (180 Celcius). Remove from the oven and allow to cool until room temperature before lifting the whole sheet out of the tray. Cut them in 1 ½ x 4 inch bars and leave to cool completely. Once cool, cover and keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.