Granola Bars w/ Nuts, Seeds and a Dark Chocolate Dip (GF, vegan, refined sugar free)

Granola BarNot even that long ago, probably about a year and when I was still living with my little sister, I started making these as a snack for our long days at University. Being lovers of nuts, seeds and chocolate, this was the ultimate granola bar. We would count the hours until we allowed ourselves to unpack them and eat them, slowly and enjoying every single bite. Every now and then, I would make them at the beginning of the week, on Sunday night, providing us with one for every University day that week. Every morning I’d take two our the box, wrap them in a little piece of parchment paper, and tie them together with cute red and white kitchen twine. It was the start of a tradition.

Now that we’re living far away from each other for a couple of months, we realise how much we both enjoyed these University snacks. We’ve been talking about it over Skype; how we miss the incredible deliciousness, how we miss wrapping them in cute little packages early in the morning together, or the envious stares when we brought them to class. Making them again, here in Copenhagen, takes me back to those days, those moments and those happy feelings. Plus, I have the best snacks to take with me here, of course.

Granola Bar
Granola Bar
There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, granola bars in the world. All kind of the same yet all different. Ingredients, fillings, toppings, everything. Raw, baked and crispy, gluten free, vegan, frozen. Classic when with oats, nuts and seeds, and how I like it. Firm, packed with everything, a little dense, exactly how I like it. These have flaxseeds for dietary fibers, vitamins and fat. Chia seeds for fibers and antioxidants. Almonds, pecans and hazelnuts for good fats, antioxidants, minerals and fibers. Psyllium husk (and the flaxseeds) to hold everything together instead of using eggs or other binders, and for fibers and digestion. Raisins and apple puree as sweeteners and natural sugars. Dark chocolate for antioxidants and the best topping; cracking chocolate – the-eating-a-magnum-feeling/sound – when you take a bite. These bars are best of the best and all you want.

Granola BarGranola Bar
These granola bars freeze very well. They won’t be ‘as good’ as when they’re freshly made because they lose a little bit of their texture (like everything frozen), but it does work. You can also store them in the fridge very well, up to 1-2 weeks.
You can dip them in melted chocolate like I did, or pour the chocolate over the top before cutting them. Let it set completely and cut into desired shape. No chocolate works too of course, though I do highly recommend it (:
Of course, you can substitute all the nuts and seeds for other nuts and seeds if preferred.  Of course, you can substitute all the nuts and seeds for other nuts and seeds if preferred.
Pure oats are gluten free, but because some commercial oats are processed in facilities that also process wheat, barley etc, some packages can contain traces of gluten. If you’re gluten intolerant, make sure to check your package.
*You can easily make your own apple puree if you can’t find it in the supermarket. Buy about 4 small/ 2-3 big apples, peel and roughly chop them. Place in a pot with about 1/4 cup water, cook until soft, blend until smooth and use this.

Makes 8

1 tbs psyllium husk
1 1/2 tbs chia seeds
4 tbs water
1 1/2 cup (GF) oats
1/4 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup pecans
2 tbs flax seeds
1/4 cup raisins
1/8 cup coconut oil, melted
extra coconut oil for greasing
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 cup unsweetened apple puree *
1/8 tsp sea salt
100 gr dark chocolate, melted (and tempered in necessary)

1. In a little bowl, combine chia seeds and water. Stir and set aside until a gel forms.
2. In a big bowl, combine oats, salt, hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, flaxseeds, and raisins.
3. In another bowl, combine psyllium husk, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and apple puree. Stir until combined. Add the chia gel and stir again.
4. Pour wet into dry and using either a wooden spoon or your hands, thoroughly mix/knead until everything is coated and combined.
5. Grease a baking tin (9 x 9, for short bars) or loaf pan (9 x 5, for higher bars) with coconut oil and line with parchment paper.
6. Press the granola mixture into the pan, spreading it out evenly. Let it rest for about 10-15 minutes.
7. Preheat oven to 180 C.
8. Bake granola bars for about 50-60 minutes, until golden brown and completely cooked through.
9. Let cool completely.
10. Trim the bar if necessary and cut 1,5 inches/4 cm bars. Dip one side into the melted chocolate. Place in the fridge to set completely.
11. Wrap/Pack/Serve/Eat!

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