Chewy Granola Squares

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My first project for this month’s challenge is to make granola bars for the homeless people I see on the streets. I thought granola bars were the best and most ideal food item to hand out to people since they don’t spoil and are packed with yummy dried fruits, seeds, coconut and mini chocolate chips. Who doesn’t love chocolate chips in their granola bars? No body I know. 

I roamed through Pinterest trying to find a simple granola bar recipe that didn’t contain a lot of extra sweetness (brown sugar, sugar, honey, canola oil) and I found a perfect one! Its by Chocolate Covered Katie. Click here to see her version of this recipe. I didn’t follow her recipe word for word. I added my own twist on it (: 

Chewy Granola Squares

Full recipe is below pictures (: 

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Combine the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Then microwave the coconut oil until it is melted (30-40 seconds)

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Add the vanilla and agave to the coconut oil. Drizzle over the dry mix and then add the mix-ins (: 

 ImageImagePour the mix onto a parchment paper lined baking tray and spread it evenly. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top and press down very hard to ensure the granola bars will stick together. 

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Bake in the oven at 350 for 16 minutes or until golden brown (like picture on the right). These smelled sooooo good when they came out of the oven (: They will look a little gooey and undercooked when they come out but after they set, they will be firm and ready to cut into. 

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Before & After cooking close ups! mmmm mmmmmm they are delicious! 

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   Transfer to a cutting board after 30 minutes-1 hour and slice into squares. They might still be a little crumbly–beware. I packaged 2 squares into clear bags so I could hand them out to people tomorrow (: You can choose to keep these in the freezer or fridge, its up to you. 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp oat flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup crispy rice cereal (I used brown rice cereal, Rice Krispies will work too!)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup vanilla agave (you can use regular too, see recipe notes below)
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp mini chocolate chips 

How-To:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Combine dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl
  3. Melt coconut in a microwave safe bowl. Add agave, and vanilla. 
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together
  5. Add mix-ins of your choice 
  6. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and pour mix into tray. Spread evenly on the baking tray. 
  7. Place another piece of baking paper on top and press down the granola bars. 
  8. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let them rest on the counter for 10 minutes. Transfer to fridge and let sit for 30 minutes-1 hour. The longer you let them sit the better.
  9. Remove from fridge and cut into squares using a large knife. 

Recipe Notes:

1) I used vanilla agave instead of regular. You can use regular agave too, but you might need to add some sweetener like brown sugar, stevia or another sweetener of your choice. 

2) I chose to leave out the applesauce from the original recipe because 1) I didn’t have any and 2) the granola bars don’t need it. 

3) You can add many different types of goodies into your granola bars. Here are a few ideas:

  • M&M Bars: Instead of adding the dried fruit and chocolate chips, add m&m’s. You could use any variety of M&M’s. I would try peanut butter filled, mini, or maybe even pretzel filled?
  • Chex Mix: Incorporate Chex Mix into the recipe instead of using the rice cereal. You could probably leave some oats out too. 
  • Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip: Add 1/4 cup of peanut butter instead of the agave syrup to the granola bar recipe above. 
  • Cacao Nib instead of Chocolate Chips: If you are looking for an even healthier version of these babies.
  • Nut-tastic Granola Bars: Add slivered almonds, walnuts, pecans…any nuts you like to the granola bars! It will increase the amount of protein in these bars which will help keep you full and satisfied longer! 
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