Bake / Gluten Free Granola Bars

When our family was on the GAPS diet, I was pretty desperate for snack ideas. A friend of mine recommended these gluten/grain free bars from the popular site Elana’s Pantry. Not only did I fall in love with these bars, but I’ve returned to her site again and again for awesome, healthy recipes. Even though we’re back on the grain train, I still make these often.

I adapted the recipe to include flavors that I prefer, as well as ingredients that are more commonly found in my kitchen. The original recipe calls for pepitas, which I happen to find bitter. I substituted chopped cashews, but I suspect most any nut would also work fine. I also added dried apricots, which contribute to a more complex flavor and add a little more sweetness.

While these were intended to be for breakfast, I like to pack them as nutrient dense snacks to keep my son going on our adventures. I’ve yet to meet a kid who didn’t gobble them up, and still they’re sophisticated enough to impress at a potluck playdate or any time you might need a gluten free treat.

Ingredients:
1 ¼ cup almond flour
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup melted coconut oil
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ cup chopped cashews (any nut like pecans or walnuts should do)
½ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup slivered almonds
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup chopped dried apricots

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix. In a medium bowl, stir together melted coconut oil, honey, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to the wet and stir. Then add coconut, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit and stir again until everything is well combined.

I line my 8×8 pan with parchment paper for easy removal, but you could grease the pan with coconut oil instead. Dump ingredients into the pan, spread out evenly, then press down firmly with fingertips. Pressing it all together tightly will help the finished product stay together better.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until you see golden brown edges. Let cool completely before cutting. I’ve found that if you keep them in the fridge for an hour or two they are less crumbly and cut a little nicer.

Makes 12-16 bars. Store in airtight container to keep fresh for a few days.

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