A naturally sweetened gluten-free granola bar for when you’re on the road or enjoying a break. This recipe offers a healthy dose of omega 3 from the addition of ground flax seed. Absolutely delicious…sweet and salty goodness in chewy bar form, with a light drizzle of dark chocolate.
If you’ve received this post, that means it’s the weekend. It’s Friday night for me, however; I’m sitting here typing this post… and giving you a play-by play of my exact moment in time (sorry). Writing is inspiring and intimating in that way, right? The ability to read someone’s thoughts from hundreds (or thousands) of years ago; makes me want to say something profound or entertaining. Not tonight though.
At any rate, it is Friday night and I’m technically working, but, while I’m typing away, my fingers are busy reaching for a second vegan salted caramel omega bar. One hand free, typing old school with two fingers sprawling to reach the appropriate keys while I savour each bite of these gluten-free granola bars I’m telling myself two is enough for one night. Clearly, some very good things come in ‘bar form’.
There’s even more goodness about creating said bars without even turning on the oven. These bars are naturally sweetened with a caramel made from dates. Plus, they provide omega 3’s with the addition of ground flax seed, which is completely undetectable by the way. I’ve chosen to add peanuts to this recipe, however, I’ve also made these with chopped raw cashews and almonds; options are good, especially if you are giving these to your little ones as a school snack. These make a great take along bite when you’re on the road, enjoying a break from the work or school day, or simply as a healthier sweet indulgence.
No-bake, sweet, salty, chewy, portable and omega threes…all good things!
Anyway, we’re up early tomorrow for a touch more gardening and then off to the market, so I’m going to call this post complete before I eat another one!
NO BAKE SALTED CARAMEL OMEGA BARS
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup flax meal
- 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts or chopped raw almonds or cashews
- 3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 12 fresh medjool dates pits removed
- 1 tsp vanilla
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup almond butter or natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup melted dark chocolate
- 1/2 tsp coconut oil
- flaked sea salt
Line an 8x8" baking dish with parchment paper, leaving enough to overhang two sides (this makes it easy to remove the bars once set).
In a large bowl, combine the oats, sea salt, flax meal, peanuts and sunflower seeds. Set aside. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the pitted dates, vanilla, lemon juice, almond butter, and melted coconut oil. Process until the mixture is smooth and even, scrape down the sides once or twice.
Scrape the date caramel into the oat mixture and stir until all the ingredients are evenly incorporated. Because the dates are quite sticky, I find using a hand mixer or stand mixer perfect for this step. Scrape the mixture into the prepared dish, evenly spread, then flatten and smooth the top of the mixture with the palm of your hand, or use the a flat bottom of a cup (I use a flat bottom 1/4 cup measure).
Place into the fridge for 2 hours. Remove from the fridge, run a knife along the edges and using the parchment paper, pull up to release from the dish. Slice into 12 equal bars.
In a small bowl, combine the dark chocolate and coconut oil. Melt in the microwave (about 45 seconds) or over a double boiler (about 3 minutes). Stir until smooth and drizzle over the squares with a small spoon. Drop a few flakes of sea salt over the top and place in the fridge for another hour before sharing.
these bars are best stored in the fridge to maintain their lovely chewy texture, but they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature, if your wish.