Breakfast? Dessert? Fuel for a long hike? Check, check, aaaaand check.
These bad boys are salty, sweet, chewy (hence the title…) triple threats. I really love a dessert that’s healthy enough to be a breakfast. This also reverses. I really love a breakfast that doubles as dessert. Ice cream excluded.
Have you ever opened up a wrapper from what you thought was a healthy power bar and tried to pronounce the ingredient list? It’s like listing the chemicals you’ll be using in a science experiment. Me and my bod aren’t feelin it. We’re cool off that.
In granola’s defense, there are lots of brands now, like Larabar, that have only a few simple and actually pronounceable ingredients. What a concept?! But how about taking it a step further and making your own? These granola bars are concocted with tons of brown rice and oatmeal to fuel your exercise, nuts to keep you feeling satiated, and dried fruit and honey to tickle your tastebuds pink. They are vegan, gluten free, and sweetened only with honey. Although the recipe may look seemingly convoluted, fear not, hippy, the nuts and fruits in these groovy granola bars can easily be swapped for whatever you have on hand. Although nothing beats the combo below, I have found. These are by far, the best granola bars I have ever had. The texture, the flavor, just…everything. I’m over here like, “granola bars, are you made out of beaver?”
I’m leaving in a couple days for a week of hiking with my brother. I will be void of phone and computer and I cannot wait. Along with trail mix, those semi-tasty semi-weird light weight freeze dried meals you buy for way too much money at REI, and lots of fruit, these granola bars are coming with me in my pack. Which I am trying, desperately, to keep under 30 pounds. My brother has warned me to bring only what I need. We really need the Coleman dual fuel lantern and the flamingo tent pegs right?
Take these granola bars hiking. Take them on a long bike ride. Take them on a mountain climb.
…Or enjoy while watching Netflix in your underwear. The choice, my friend, is yours.
Sweet & Salty Granola Bars
- 1.5 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 3 cups brown rice crispies
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 1 cup almond butter
- 1 cup honey
- 1 1/4 T sea salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Heat oven to 350 or turn on the toaster. Chop the almonds and toast them. Watch them carefully and stir them frequently, they go from perfectly toasty to burnt in a matter of seconds. You want them to be brown and give off a roasted aroma. Next toast the oats, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Woah woah woah Mr. Multitasker, slow your roll. You have to toast them separately because they all have different burn times. I learned this the hard way…
- Slice and dice the apricots into small chunks. When all items are sufficiently toasted, toss them in a bowl with the rice crispies, dried cranberries, and sliced apricots.
- In a small saucepan, heat the almond butter and honey. You want to heat up the mixture until it gets all melty. Don’t let it boil or even come close to boiling- this is your granola bar “glue.” Good news for the kids who used to eat paste in kindergarden. Stir in the salt and cinnamon.
- Slowly pour this over the nut mixture and stir until evenly incorporated, being careful not to crush the crispies. We need them to uh, stay crispy, after all.
- Pour the whole mixture into a 9×13″ glass baking pan lined with parchment paper or whatever pan or dish you fancy. Press down evenly and firmly, again being careful to not crush those little crispies. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours. When ready, cut into 2″ squares and wrap individually.
And for the music:
This song, a newbie called Oasis by Alpines, just makes me want to get up and dance. Which can be problematic whilst in traffic and driving alone. I get lots of stares. Unwelcome ones. I was playing this while chopping up these granola bars and rest assured I will be blasting it in my headphones on the plane in a few days. So, so good.