Simple to make. Super yummy. No need to buy commercial granola bars that are filled with sugar and preservatives! These are delicious as is, or if you want, you can add some raw cacao nibs, or chocolate chips, or dried organic cranberries (sulphite-free) for the kids (or the big kids). Oats naturally don’t contain any gluten, however a lot of commercial brands mix them with wheat. Some organic brands certify that their oat flakes are gluten-free; if you have Celiac disease or are highly intolerant to gluten, make sure you choose those brands.
Oats are rich in potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium, plus mono- and polyunsaturated fats. They are also high in the amino acid arginine, which helps to relax blood vessels. In addition, oats contain the highest content of soluble fiber of any other grain, lowering LDL cholesterol and balancing blood sugar. This makes them an all-around beneficial food for the heart. Gluten-free rolled oats are now available and, although oats generally do not contain gluten (unless they have been contaminated by other grains), many people find them easier to digest than regular oats. (Excerpt from 500 of the Healthiest Recipes & Health Tips You’ll Ever Need)
Homemade granola bars (makes about 9)
- 2/3 cup organic raisins (I used sultanas)
- 3 Tbsp freshly squeezed organic orange juice
- 2 1/2 organic rolled oats (not quick oats)
- 2/3 cup dry, unsweetened shredded organic coconut
- 2/3 cup organic pumpkin seeds
- 2/3 cup organic sunflower seeds
- 2/3 cup lightly toasted organic almonds
- 1/4 cup organic agave syrup
- 1/4 cup medium grade organic maple syrup
- 1 tsp organic vanilla
- 2 Tbsp organic virgin coconut oil, melted
- 1 Tbsp high quality extra-virgin organic cooking olive oil
- 1 Tbsp organic raw cacao nibs (optional)
- 1/4 cups organic semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C.
- Put the raisins in a small pan with the orange juice and heat gently for about 5 minutes until softened, then cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, put the oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in a food processor, and process for a few seconds until roughly chopped. Tip the mixture into a large bowl, and add the maple syrup and agave, vanilla extract, both types of oil, the raisins and orange juice, and cacao nibs or chocolate chips (optional). Stir well until combined.
- Press the mixture into a 10 inch square baking pan (or use a baking sheet covered with parchment paper – just reduce the baking time and keep an eye on it because it’ll cook faster since it won’t be as thick) and smooth the top, pressing down firmly into an even layer.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned on top and firm to the touch. Cut into squares while still warm. When cool, store in an airtight container in a cool cupboard and eat within one week.
These are an awesome snack/breakfast/dessert served with a dollop of organic Greek yogurt, they taste delicious with a scoop of vegan aloe and cocoa ice cream, or even served with a glass of delicious green smoothie (cashew milk, banana, berries, spinach).
(Recipe adapted from 500 of the Healthiest Recipes & Health Tips You’ll Ever Need)