Gluten Free + No Bake Granola Bars.

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Finally getting around to posting this recipe! I am the queen of buying new cookbooks and scouting the internet for go to meals. I have been vegetarian for about 5 years now and I would say the biggest challenge is not getting stuck in the same routine of my favorite foods. I would be lying if I say I didn’t LOVE chocolate…..yes that is a LOVE. What woman doesn’t?  I don’t eat it everyday- and as my habits have changed so have my types of indulgences. I now usually only eat dark chocolate. Sometimes chocolate covered raisins or almonds found in the bulk aisle at Whole Foods. The trick for me is: If I don’t buy it, I won’t eat it. If I do buy it, I only pick up a little bit to satisfy my craving. Practice makes perfect. Nevertheless this recipe is super easy and fast. I think it is a great alternative to the granola bars found at the store- especially that there are minimal ingredients. Just because they come in a white and green box labeled “great source of fiber” does NOT mean they are healthy. Check your labels- or simply make your own. This one was found on the blog With Style & Grace.

The recipe calls for peanut butter and I STRONGLY suggest using the freshly ground peanut or almond butter from whole foods. Since they are a no bake granola bar you need to have a good base so they can pack tight and not break. I made the recipe twice- once with regular peanut butter and once without. Also- you have the option of gluten free or regular oats. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups gluten-free oats
  • 1 3/4 cup gluten-free rice cereal or rice krispies (I used the 365 brand brown rice cereal from Whole Foods)
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 1/8 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/3-1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips – or replace with dried fruit

Directions

Cut parchment paper to fit a 9×13 or 8″ pan. This will make it easier to remove the granola bars.

Combine oats, cereal, coconut and flaxseed in a bowl and mix together.

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, mix honey, brown sugar and salt. Stir until it comes to a slight boil.

Remove from heat, stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until incorporated.

Pour the warm mixture over the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

Let cool for about 20 minutes or so before mixing in the chocolate chips. Add mixture to the prepared pan and with a piece of parchment paper; press down to even out the surface. Place in a safe spot [out of reach from tiny hands or pets] and cover with a paper towel or cloth and let sit for a few hours to let everything set.

Remove from the pan and cut into bars. Enjoy!

Makes about 12 bars

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