Gingerbread granola bars

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I occasionally get burned out on my regular snacks and, with Christmas on its way, I'm craving spicy flavors and warm baked things. With visions of gingerbread dancing in my head, I created this granola bar recipe. These wholesome bars are rich in iron, protein, and fiber and can easily be made gluten-free by using gluten-free oats.

Gingerbread Granola Bars
Makes about 9

1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup oat flour (process 1/3 cup oats till finely ground in a food processor or blender)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts or seeds (I used 1/3 cup dried cranberries, 1/3 cup raisins, 2 Tbsp hemp seeds, 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/3 cup chopped walnuts)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp melted Earth Balance margarine
1/3 cup almond butter
2 Tbsp chia seeds (optional, you can omit or sub ground flax seeds)
3 Tbsp applesauce or canned pumpkin
3 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
3 Tbsp real maple syrup
1 tablespoon water
A little more brown sugar for sprinkling on top (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8″ x 8″ pan with parchment paper. Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts (except chia seeds).
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted Earth Balance, chia (or flax) seeds, almond butter, applesauce (or pumpkin), molasses, maple syrup, and water. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until well combined.
  3. Spread mixture evenly into the prepared pan and sprinkle brown sugar lightly over the top (optional). Bake for about 35 minutes, until brown around the edges. Cool in the pan for a few minutes then use the edges of parchment to lift them from the pan and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cool, cut the bars into squares. If they seem crumbly, you can refrigerate them for 30 minutes or so before cutting them.

(Recipe inspired by Smitten Kitchen)

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