Have you tried making chewy granola bars only to have them fall apart on you and turn into a big pile of chunky crumbs? Hmmm, well, I have and I had nearly given up on making the bars. I have a couple brands that I purchase that were suiting me well and I couldn't see going through the hassle of trying to duplicate them. There was that cost thing, but I was willing to pay to avoid frustration. Mm hmm, until I ran across these three recipes for granola cookies that don't use any sugar, dairy or flour. Oh my, oh geez, oh, these are delicious. I've been making them in cookie form, but got lazy this morning and made them into bars. Oooh, I can see the potential for changing out the dried fruit, using applesauce or pumpkin in place of the banana, using different seeds, etc. See, the possibilities are endless.
Here's my version:
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup coconut flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup of mixed raw sesame and sunflower seeds
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted, chopped
1/2 cup chocolate or carob chips
2 large very ripe bananas
1/4 cup coconut oil, softened if solid
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350F. In large bowl, combine oats, coconut flakes, salt, cinnamon, sesame and sunflower seeds, and dates. I chopped the dates a little more in the dried mix to get them coated, otherwise, they stick together in a clump.
In a smaller bowl, combine bananas, softened coconut oil and vanilla. Mash the bananas until well mixed with oil and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and drop by tablespoons onto a baking stone.
Bake for about 20 minutes until edges look golden.
Alternately, you can press the dough into a 7 by 11 pan and bake for 35 minutes. Cool and cut into 15 bars.
Perfect trail food! Finally!