Mocha Hazelnut Granola Bars

In a coffee-loving region like the Kootenays, these granola bars are sure to please. Easy to make and even easier to pack for a day trip or overnighter, these bars offer the perfect amount of crunchy chew and salty sweetness. The hazelnut base offers a dose of healthy fats, helping to keep you feeling full and satisfied; while the rolled-oats and crispy rice cereal provide an instant energy source and digestion-supporting fiber. Add in a bit of sweetness via coconut and chocolate, along with a dash of bitter coffee, and you can’t go wrong.

  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • 1 1/3 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 cup crispy rice cereal (not puffed rice)
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (non-dairy if you prefer)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 Tbsp. very finely ground coffee beans (ground to a powder like consistency)
  • ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
  • ½ cup brown rice syrup
  • ¼ cup of peanut, almond butter or hazelnut butter
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Prepare an 8×8 pan with parchment paper covering the bottom and all four sides.

Toast your hazelnuts until golden brown and fragrant, let cool before chopping (350 for 5-7 minutes).  After they cool, roll in a towel to remove most of their fibrous skins. Add hazelnuts, coffee, rolled oats, crispy rice cereal, chocolate chips, coconut, and salt to a large bowl, mix well.

In a small saucepan, combine the brown rice syrup, nut butter, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Stir on medium low heat until smooth and creamy (about 5 minutes), making sure not burn it.

Pour the hot nut butter mixture into the bowl with your dry ingredients and stir everything together, mixing well to combine and making sure there aren’t any dry spots left. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, and pat down with a greased spatula, making sure to spread it into all four corners of the pan. The harder you press down, the better your bars will stick together.

Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Keep refrigerated up to 2 weeks in an air-tight container. These bars also hold up great in an insulated lunch bag or cooler.

(Recipe via Sprouted-Health.com)

 

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