1. SAVORY PECAN AND ROSEMARY GRANOLA BARS
2 cups chopped raw pecans
1 1/2 cups whole raw pecans
1 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
4 teaspoons flake sea salt
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons nut butter
1 teaspoon vinegar-based hot sauce
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the sides of a roughly 9-inch by 13-inch casserole dish or baking pan and line the bottom with parchment paper, making the sheet a little wider than the pan so that some of the paper hangs off either side of the pan (this will make the bars easier to remove from the pan, later).
In a medium bowl, mix together the chopped raw pecans, whole raw pecans, chopped dates, coconut flakes, flax seeds, fresh rosemary, and sea salt until combined. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, dark brown sugar, nut butter, and hot sauce until smooth. Add the honey mixture to the pecan mixture in three increments, stirring well between each addition, until the honey mixture evenly coats the pecan mixture.
Empty the mixture into the prepared pan and spread out in an even layer. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the granola bar mixture and press down on it to compact it into a solid single layer. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and place the pan in the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow the bars to cool completely to room temperature. To make them easier to cut and store, I recommend placing the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Remove the sheet of granola bars from the pan by lifting the overhanging parchment paper. Place the sheet of granola bars on a cutting board and cut into 20 evenly-sized granola bars. Remove the parchment paper from the bottom of each one and wrap each granola bar in plastic wrap. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week, or for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
2. TRAIL MIX PEANUT BUTTER BARS
1/2 cup honey
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats — gluten free if needed
3/4 cup puffed grain cereal
1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup mixed dried fruit — raisins, cranberries, blueberries, whatever you like
1/3 cup mixed nuts — and/or seeds
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
Line an 8x8 baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on two of the sides like handles. Generously coat the foil or paper with baking spray. Set aside.
In a microwave-safe bowl or a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the honey, peanut butter, and coconut oil. Melt gently and stir until smooth and combined. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Let cool for 5 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, cereal, flaxseed, cinnamon, and salt, then stir in the dried fruit, nuts/seeds, and chocolate chips. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the top, then stir until the ingredients are evenly moistened.
Scoop the mixture into the prepared baking pan, then with a spatula or your fingers, press into an even layer. If the mixture is too sticky, lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the top, then press on its surface. Place the bars in the refrigerator to set, at least 2 hours or overnight. Once fully chilled, remove the bars from the pan with the foil or paper “handles,” then, using a very sharp knife, slice into bars. Enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer for later.
3. BLUEBERRY GRANOLA BARS
2 1/2 cups rolled oats, divided
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup cashew butter
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup blueberry jam
Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Place 1/2 cup rolled oats in a food processor and process until finely ground. Combine ground oats, 2 cups rolled oats, flaked coconut, dried blueberries, pecans, coconut sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
Combine maple syrup, cashew butter, and coconut oil in a glass measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl and microwave until mixture is melted, about 45 seconds. Stir to combine, then stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over oat mixture and stir well until completely incorporated. Reserve 3/4 cup mixture for the topping, and chill in the freezer for 5 minutes. Use a piece of waxed paper coated with nonstick spray to press remaining mixture evenly into pan. Heat blueberry jam for 10 seconds in the microwave to loosen, then spread evenly over bars. Sprinkle with chilled crumble, pressing lightly to adhere.
Bake bars for 20 to 22 minutes, until top and edges are golden and set. Cool completely in baking pan on a wire rack, then chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Lift parchment to remove bars from pan and place on a cutting board; cut into bars with a sharp knife. Store bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
4. MAPLE-CINNAMON OATMEAL BREAKFAST BARS
2-1/2 cups certified gluten-free old fashioned oats, divided
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk, any kind
1/2 cup mashed banana (roughly 1 large banana)
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup pecan halves, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees then spray an 8x8" baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
Add 1 cup old fashioned oats to a food processor or blender then process until oats have turned into flour. Set aside. (Alternatively you could use a scant cup oat flour.)
Add milk, mashed banana, maple syrup, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla to a large bowl then whisk to combine. Add remaining 1-1/2 cups oats, oat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt then stir to combine. Fold in chopped pecans then pour batter into prepared baking pan.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the center has set. Check on the bars at the 25 minute mark - if the edges are browning too quickly, place a piece of foil on top of the baking pan. Cool before slicing into bars then store in the refrigerator, or individually wrap bars in saran wrap and freeze.