Cranberry and Coconut Gluten Free Granola Bars

Watch me make this on my YouTube Channel!

Yield: 1 (13×9-inch) container

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, toasted*

1½ cups toasted, salted almonds

1 packed cup roughly chopped dates

¾ packed cup dark brown sugar

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon water

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup toasted, salted sunflower seeds

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, then preheat the oven to 300ºF.

*Place oats (evenly spread) on a sheet tray and transfer to the oven until lightly toasted, approximately 15 minutes

Create a foil sling (for easy removal of the granola bars) to fit into a 9×13-inch pan. Lightly spray the foil with nonstick spray.

Add almonds to a food processor with the blade attachment and process until very finely chopped. (No visual chunks remaining)

Transfer processed almonds to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Add dates, brown sugar and salt to the food processor (no need to clean it out) and process until the dates are finely chopped. With the processor running, stream in the vanilla extract, water and melted butter. Process until a smooth thick paste is formed. Set aside.

Add the toasted oats, cranberries, sunflower seeds and shredded coconut to the large mixing bowl that contains the processed almonds. Stir to combine. Add the date paste (be sure to scrape the bowl and blade of the food processor to get every last drop!) to the bowl. Mix ingredients thoroughly using your hands, squeezing and folding the mixture to ensure it’s thoroughly combined.

Evenly distribute the granola mixture into the prepared pan. Press down the mixture to make sure it’s compact and evenly distributed. Transfer to oven and bake for 25 minutes. It will be very lightly toasted.

Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 1 hour so the mixture can firm up.

Once cool, transfer the granola bar to a cutting board and cut into squares and enjoy!

Spiced Carrot Almond Bites

A few months ago, I had an excess of carrots (and by excess I mean about a 20 pound surplus) and a bit of a sweet tooth. Well, what to do? Throw some carrots, fruit, nuts, spice and cocoa in my food processor and minutes later, my sweet tooth problem was resolved! Hooray! As far as my surplus of carrots, well, I made a very small dent with this dessert snack, but I can say that I did enjoy a lot of carrot juice that week. Win-Win! (Did I mention these are raw, gluten free, vegan and DELICIOUS?)

P.S. You can see a video of me making these on my Facebook Page.

 

Spiced Carrot Almond Bites

 

 

Spiced Carrot Almond Bites

Yield: approximately 16 balls

 

3 small carrots, peeled and chopped into the size of whole almonds

1 teaspoon orange zest

15 deglet noor dates, pitted

5 dried black mission figs, chopped roughly

1 tablespoon old fashioned rolled oats

1 cup toasted almonds

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

1 tablespoon grade B maple syrup

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1-ounce good quality dark chocolate, 65-70% cocoa solids, chopped roughly

¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

 

Place all ingredients, except coconut, in a food processor and process until well combined and the ingredients stop moving about in the bowl.

Place shredded coconut on a large plate.

Using your hands, roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll balls in the coconut to coat.

Refrigerate 30 to 45 minutes to firm up before serving.

 

 

Gluten Free Granola Bars

Have you ever made your own granola bars? It’s super easy and you have the added bonus of making something delicious AND healthy! My version is gluten free and the sweetness comes from maple syrup and dates – even more reason to bake some off and share with your friends (if you feel compelled to share, of course!).  #freshfoodsdiet

 

Gluten Free Granola Bars

 

Gluten Free Granola Bars

Yield: Approximately 15 2- x 2-inch squares

 

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

1 cup whole toasted almonds

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup pitted deglet noor dates (approximately 20), chopped roughly

¾ cup dried blueberries

½ cup dried cranberries

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/3 cup grade B maple syrup

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

Place an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a 7 x 11 baking dish with parchment paper, allowing the paper to come up on all sides. (This will make for an easy transfer out of the pan).

Combine oats, almonds, cinnamon and salt in a food processor and pulse 15 times, until the oats and almonds are broken up into small pieces. Transfer contents into a large bowl.

Stir in the dried fruit, breaking up any fruit clumps. (I like to use my hands!)

Place butter, maple syrup and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until butter is melted and ingredients are well combined. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Transfer wet ingredients from saucepan into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and fruit. Stir until well combined.

Place granola mixture in the parchment filled baking dish and pat down so that the granola is packed together and evenly spread throughout the baking dish.

Bake for 50 minutes until the granola is lightly brown on top.

Remove from the oven and let granola cool completely before cutting.