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Home Ec: No Bake Granola Bars (vegan) by DREENA BURTON

Recipe provided to The Green Mama by Dreena Burton, Author of the new cookbook Plant Powered Families, out now on Ben Bella Books.

Makes 8–10 bars or 16 squares
These bars are perfect for school lunches because they are nut-free and pack very well. Plus, they are pretty simple to put together!

Ingredients

1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 packed cup coconut butter (see note)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup oat flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
11/2 cups natural brown rice crisp cereal
3 tablespoons nondairy chocolate chips (optional)

Directions

– Line an 8″ × 8″ pan with parchment paper.
– In a medium saucepan over medium/medium-low heat, add the brown rice syrup, coconut butter, vanilla extract, sea salt,
   and cinnamon. Stir until well combined and the coconut butter has melted.
– Add the rolled oats, and stir through, allowing to cook for 2–3 minutes in the low heat.
– Add the oat flour and shredded coconut, and stir through.
– Remove the pot from the stove. Swiftly stir in the cereal and transfer the mixture to prepared pan.
– Press mixture evenly into the pan (using a nonstick spatula or piece of parchment paper).
– Wait just a minute, and then sprinkle on the chocolate chips and press those into the base.
– Refrigerate until fully chilled (at least 1/2 hour), then cut in squares or bars.

Notes

Coconut Butter : Coconut butter works well here because it is so dense and helps bind the bars. Because coconut is not botanically a nut, these are also perfect for school lunches. However, if you want to substitute a nut butter, choose one that is very dense, like cashew butter.

Variations

Raisin-spice: Stir in 3–4 tablespoons raisins, omit the chips, increase the cinnamon to 1/2 teaspoon, and add 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon of allspice.
Cranberry–pumpkin seed: Stir in 3–4 tablespoons of dried cranberries and substitute pumpkin seeds for the coconut.
Cocoa-hemp: Substitute 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds for the coconut, and add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder (when mixing in the oat flour). Keep the chocolate chips, oh yes!!