Can you believe July is drawing to a close already?! Goodness, with the almost non-existent summer weather we’ve been getting, it feels like summer has barely even begun!
My globe-trotting mother is currently traveling through Eastern Canada and US, where I’m sure she’s getting her dose of scorching heat! Before she left, I made these Energy Bars, adapted from Mama Pea’s Vegan Energy Bars, for my mom to take on her trip:
My mom and I prefer granola bars that are hearty and barely sweet. I have searched high and low for a store-bought bar that isn’t too sweet, and while I do like the Kashi bars, they’re still too sweet for my mom’s palate. So I used Mama Pea’s recipe as a basis to create a granola bar that suits my mom’s tastes:
Energy Bars (makes 10 bars)
2.5 TB ground flax seeds + 7 TB warm water
2 C quick oats
1/2 C whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C smooth natural nut butter (I used peanut butter with no sugar/salt/extra ingredients added)
1/4 C unsweetened applesauce
3 TB maple syrup (*see note)
2 TB lightly packed brown sugar (*see note)
1/4 C unsweetened shredded coconut
2/3 C roughly chopped nuts (I used a combination of almonds, pecans, and walnuts)
2/3 C dried fruit (I used raisins, dried cranberries, and chopped dried apricots)
1/3 C sunflower seeds
* Note: Like I indicated, I don’t have a very sweet palate, so if you prefer a sweeter granola bar, use up to 1/4 C maple syrup and/or 1/4 C brown sugar. The great thing about vegan baking is that you can taste and adjust as you go!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a small bowl, stir together ground flax and water. Let sit for a few minutes so it “gels up” while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, and salt.
In another bowl, stir together nut butter, applesauce, maple syrup, and brown sugar. Add flax+water mixture and mix until smooth and well combined.
Stir together together dry and wet ingredients. Add shredded coconut, nuts, dried fruit, and sunflower seeds. Continue stirring until well combined.
Use a spatula to spread mixture in a 9 x 9 pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Lightly wet your hands and press down firmly on the mixture until it is all evenly spread in the pan. Press down firmly, as this will really help your granola bars to achieve the right texture and stay together after baking.
Bake for 17 – 20 mins until lightly browned. Let cool in pan for about 1/2 hour, then use the parchment paper to lift bars out of the pan. Cut into bars, and let cool completely on a wire rack before wrapping in plastic wrap.
These bars are a good balance of chewiness and crunch, with just the right amount of sweetness. They are the perfect filling snack for when you are on the go. Hope my mom’s enjoying them while on her whirlwind travels!