My kids eat a ridiculous amount of vegan granola bars, which we all know aren’t cheap in quantity when you’re shopping for granola bars with good quality ingredients. I mean, they will pretty much eat anything that is sweet, portable, and will fit in a lunch box but at least vegan granola bars fit into our family’s food philosophy and have fiber. So when some recent pantry excavation revealed a ginormous unopened bag of rolled oats and I started thinking about how I could use it up quickly, granola bars were an obvious choice.
Want to impress your family and friends with chocolately homemade vegan granola bars? Then you’re in luck because here’s the recipe!
*4 c. oats (quick or toasted rolled oats)
*2 c. rice cereal
*1/4. c. golden flax seeds (whole or ground)
*1 c. peanut butter (or other nut butter)
*1 c. maple syrup*
*2/3 c. sugar
*2 tbsp. molasses
*1/2 c. mini bittersweet chocolate chips (double-check for vegan-ness)
Coat a 13×9″ pan with cooking spray. Grab your biggest bowl and stir the oats, rice cereal, and flax seeds together. Set aside. Whisk the nut butter, maple syrup, sugar, and molasses together in a pan over medium-high heat until the nut butter and sugar melt together. When the mixture begins to bubble, reduce heat to medium and stir for three minutes. (If you have a candy thermometer, the mixture should reach a temperature of 240F/120C.) Remove from heat and stir immediately into the oats mixture until fully incorporated. Once the mixture is cool enough to handle, press it into the prepared pan. Press HARD! The more tightly you pack it – and this can take a minute or two – the better your results will be. Shake the chocolate chips over the top and when they have melted slightly, use a rubber spatula to spread them over the top. Finally, let your vegan granola bars cool on the counter for two hours or until chocolate has set.
From there you can cut your homemade granola bars into any size (or shape) you like. I found that spraying my chef’s knife with cooking spray helped me slice cleanly and evenly so my granola bars would look just enough like store-bought that the kids wouldn’t balk at them. And the verdict? Yummy. Enjoy!
*Not vegan? Honey works great. You could probably also sub in corn syrup if you’re not okay with maple flavor.