Every other Thursday, Gena Hamshaw of the blog Choosing Raw shares satisfying, flavorful recipes that also happen to be vegan.
Today: A granola bar you don't have to bake, with a recipe that won't tie you down.
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Summer is quickly approaching, which means more picnics, hikes, outdoor walks, and other celebrations of the open air. This time of year, I like to maximize my time outside by stocking up on portable, nutritious snacks that allow me to be active without worrying about going inside to eat.
I’m a sucker for sweet, salty snack bars, but tasty vegan ones can be hard to find: many store-bought options are full of dubious ingredients, while recipes for homemade bars often contain honey (which isn't vegan!). For ages, I searched for a granola bar recipe that was vegan, easy to make, and -- most importantly -- adaptable. I've finally found the perfect mix of oats, nuts, dried fruit, and nut butter, and it has become a go-to in my busy student life.
Remember Choose Your Own Adventure books? Let’s call this “choose your own granola bar.” My favorite thing about these bars is that you can add or subtract whatever you want. Not a fan of peanut butter? Use almond, cashew, or sunflower seed butter. Hate pumpkin seeds? Sunflower seeds or cashews will be great, too. Here are just a few ideas for how to modify the recipe:
Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
Substitute finely chopped dried figs or dates for the raisins.
Replace the pumpkin seeds with chopped pistachios, and replace raisins with 1/2 cup dried cranberries.
Replace the pumpkin seeds with chopped walnuts, and add 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the nut butter and sweetener mixture.
If you're feeling exotic, replace the raisins with goji berries.
No matter what, it’s hard to go wrong with this combination. Enjoy it -- and all of the outdoor activities it will fuel you for!
2 1/2 cups rolled or quick oats 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas) 1/2 cup raisins 2/3 cup peanut or almond butter 1/2 to 2/3 cup agave nectar or brown rice syrup (adjust based on how well things stick together) 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Gena Hamshaw is a certified nutritionist, recipe developer, and food blogger. She shares her latest culinary adventures at The Full Helping. She's the author of two cookbooks, Food52 Vegan (2015) and Choosing Raw (2014). She enjoys yoga, sweet potatoes, cashews, and things that are smothered in sauce.