It is surprisingly difficult to find granola bars that are made with gluten-free oats and are free of nuts. Luckily, you can make your own satisfying bars. An added bonus is they won’t have a lot of sugar, fat and preservatives like many ready-made bars do. Add seeds and either dried fruit or chocolate chips for a satisfying crunchy treat.
- 2 cups rolled, certified gluten-free oats
- ½ to 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)
- 1 cup seeds - pumpkin seeds and/or sunflower seeds
- ½ cup flax meal
- 3 tablespoons butter, non-dairy butter or coconut oil
- ⅔ cup honey or pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup dried fruit of your choice, such as currants, cranberries, blueberries, dates or apricots, cut into very small pieces OR mini chocolate chips (chips will melt throughout the bar when baking)
Spread out the oats, coconut, and seeds onto a sheet pan and bake in a 350° F oven for 10-12 minutes until fragrant and lightly browned. If you are using seeds that have already been roasted or toasted, omit them from this step – you will add them later.
In the meantime, grease a 9×13 baking pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Remove the oat mixture from the oven and pour into a large bowl. Add the flax meal and the seeds (if not already added in step 1) and stir to combine.
Reduce oven temperature to 300° F.
In a saucepan, combine the butter, honey, sugar, vanilla and salt and bring to a boil over medium heat for one minute. Pour into the bowl with the oat mixture and stir until evenly coated. Stir in fruit or chocolate chips.
Pour the sticky oat mixture into your prepared pan and press down gently to evenly cover the parchment paper. You may need to wet fingers slightly to keep it from sticking to your hands.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool (1-2 hours) and then either cut into bars while still in the pan, or if cooled completely, you can turn it out of the pan and onto a cutting board.
Calories: 220, Carbohydrates: 30 g, Protein: 5 g, Fat: 9 g, Cholesterol: 5 mg, Sodium: 40 mg, Fiber: 3 g
Alison St. Sure blogs about celiac disease, gluten intolerance and food allergies at SureFoodsLiving.com. She is the co-founder of the Gluten Intolerance Group of Marin County in California, teaches classes and is a consultant on living gluten free. She has also written for Common Ground and Competitor magazines.