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chewy cocoa granola bars

chewy cocoa granola bars
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These are a simple, lower sugar, wholegrain, gluten and nut-free treat. Perfect for the lunchbox or with an afternoon cup of tea. Trust me, a touch of cocoa and a few chocolate chips go a long way when you add just a dash of love!

Ingredients:

3 c. slow cook rolled oats
1/4 c. raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 c. raw sunflower seeds
2 tbsp chia or sesame seeds
1/4 c. raisins (chopped if they are large)
1/4 c. dark chocolate chips (use vegan if avoiding dairy)
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 c. unsweetened sunflower seed butter (find in the natural food section of the grocery store by the natural peanut and almond butters)
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp milk (cow or soy to keep it nut-free, or almond if you are not avoiding nuts)

To prepare:

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×11 baking dish with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia or sesame seeds, raisins, chocolate chips, cocoa, cinnamon, baking powder, & salt. Mix well.

In a small pot over medium-low heat, whisk together sunflower seed butter, maple syrup, vanilla, banana, applesauce and milk and heat just until smooth and steaming, but not boiling. Remove from heat and let cool 3 minutes.

Pour the wet over the dry and mix until well-combined. The chocolate chips will likely melt as you stir and that’s just fine! Press evenly into the parchment-covered pan, making the surface as flat as possible and pushing mixture into the corners.

Bake 25 minutes. Let cool completely then cut into 28 bars. They are soft & chewy: To keep bars firm, store in fridge for a week or so. These also freeze well.

4 thoughts on “chewy cocoa granola bars”

    1. Absolutely, any nut butter would work (as long as you are not sending them to a nut-free school or program). I think pumpkin seed butter would also be delish.

    1. Hi Beverly: If you know someone who reps for Epicure, they sell an aluminum-free baking powder, but so does the brand “Bob’s Red Mill” which you can get at most Sobeys in the natural food section. Regular baking powder will work fine, I just prefer to avoid aluminum as it’s a known neuro-toxin. 🙂

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