Ok, I know January is over and some people have already grown tired of their New Year’s health goals…but these healthy treats (they’re good for you, but also nutrient dense so don’t go crazy) make it easy and exciting to commit to eating healthy. These Omega-3 packed granola bars are the perfect solution to the daily of challenge of how to get enough flax, chia and walnut (all 3 are very high in omega-3s) into ourselves and our kids. You can substitute any kind of nut here, but I sneak walnuts in because it’s recommended that we get a small handful everyday for heart and brain health, and cancer protection.
These bars are so tasty and easy to make (just a little trickier than rice krispy level) that you may not need to have a stash of clif bars in the cupboard anymore. Take these on a hike, give a batch to neighbours or friends, or just have them in the fridge ready for school lunches or hungry fridge-raiders. These are also gluten-free (double check that your oats say gluten-free).
If you feel like experimenting or making these a little healthier, omit the chocolate chips and drizzle, and substitute in a few tablespoons of small dried berries, like dried blueberries and a teaspoon of cinnamon.
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/4 cups puffed rice cereal (like rice krispies)
- 1/3 cup dried shredded coconut
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tbsp ground flax meal
- 2 tbsp walnuts, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp fine-grain salt
- 2 tbsp vegan chocolate chips, finely chopped (I use Trader Joe's semi-sweet)
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup (sold at Whole Foods and most health food stores)
- 1/4 cup natural almond or peanut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
- 1/4 tsp coconut oil
- Line a 9-inch square pan with 2 pieces of over-hanging parchment paper, one in each direction.
- Finely chop walnuts (or other nuts) and chocolate chips (if using).
- Add rolled oats, rice cereal, shredded coconut, chia seeds, ground flax, walnuts and salt to a large bowl. Stir well.
- Add brown rice syrup and almond butter to a small saucepan and place on medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture is soft and just starts to bubble. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Pour heated mixture over dry mixture and stir well, until all ingredients are combined. Make sure you stir right to the bottom as a lot of the finer ingredients hide down there.
- If adding chocolate chips, wait 3 minutes for mixture to cool down before adding chopped chocolate chips.
- Put the mixture into the prepared parchment pan, spread evenly and press down hard with a spatula or slightly wet hands.
- Put in the freezer, uncovered for 10 minutes to firm up.
- While the bars are chilling, make the drizzle if you're going to do it. In a small bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and coconut oil in 20 second increments, stirring between each time, until it's all smooth and melted.
- Remove bars from the freezer, lift them out by the parchment paper, place on a cutting board and using a serrated bread knife (or any other saw-like knife), cut into 12 bars. It works better to use a sawing motion here (like you would cut crusty bread) rather than pressing the knife in.
- Put the bars on a piece of parchment and lightly drizzle the chocolate back and forth using a spoon or spatula.
- Place bars back in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up the chocolate drizzle, then place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- If you include the chocolate drizzle on top they will be a little less stable out of the fridge at warmer temperatures and may be a little bit of a messy hiking snack.
Modified from ‘The Oh She Glows Cookbook’ by Angela Liddon.