I don’t even know where to start with these bars, so healthy and so good! I had been waiting to post them, perfecting, and wasn’t sure weather to go with white chocolate or dark chocolate. Then came a guys weekend away and my husband asked me to whip something up. I decided to whip up a pan of both bars for them to test out and decide. The verdict… they couldn’t decide they liked them both. I also gave them to my aunt, cousin, and friend while we were away for a girls trip to the Idea House. Still no verdict so maybe you can help me decide! These bars are great for breakfast, snack, or dessert and are packed with oats, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed (or wheat germ), walnuts (or pecans), dried cranberries, and dark chocolate or white chocolate chips (or carob chips). Sweetened with maple syrup and a hint of honey these bars are pure bliss! I like to eat these bars right out of the freezer, where I store them for longer storage. I plan on making a couple more batches to keep stashed in there to fuel us while out doing winter activities, to enjoy after with a cup of cocoa or coffee, or to keep me away from all the sugar cookies and other holiday goodies.
Cranberry Bliss Granola Bars
Makes a 9×9 pan, 16 bars*
2c oats, gluten free
1/2c pure maple syrup, or you can use honey
1/2c coconut oil, melted
2 TBSP coconut palm sugar
2 flax eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2c pumpkin seeds, raw unsalted
1/2c ground flaxseed or wheat germ
3/4c chopped walnuts or pecans
3/4c dried cranberries
1/2c dark chocolate, white chocolate, or carob chips
*As shown in the white chocolate ones, I had to make the dark chocolate in a different pan. It works best to use a 8×8 or 9×9 pan, any bigger and they get thinner and it is hard to get them pressed together and they are more fragile.
Preheat oven to 325F. Spread oats out on a baking sheet and toast oats for 10 minutes, mixing oats half way through. Remove oats and let cool. Turn oven up to 350F. Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper, or tin foil (if using tin foil lightly spray with coconut oil spray). In a medium bowl mix together flax egg, maple syrup, coconut oil, coconut palm sugar, and vanilla. In a large bowl mix together toasted oats, cinnamon, and salt. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and mix until combine. Stir in ground flax seed or wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts. Fold in cranberries and optional chocolate chip. Pour and press mixture into prepared pan, being sure to press it down as much as possible. Bake for 35-38 minutes. Remove and place on a cooling rack. Once bars have cooled lift out of the pan and cut into squares. Be sure not to remove bars from the pan until they are completely cooled. You can also place them in the refrigerator or freezer to help set them. Store bars in an airtight container and consume within 5 days. I like to store my bars in the freezer for longer storage and pull them out as needed. Enjoy!
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