I know. It can be kind of difficult to get too excited about a granola bar recipe. So you’ll forgive me if I trot out the old saw: these are different! And … more
I know. It can be kind of difficult to get too excited about a granola bar recipe. So you’ll forgive me if I trot out the old saw: these are different! And anyway you can trust me when I say that because it’s not like everything we make around here is meant to be “different.” In fact, lots and lots of the recipes that we make are designed to be exactly the same. The same as you remember, before you went gluten free. For crying out loud, I’m in the middle of writing a whole cookbook about recipes that are exactly the same as you remember. See? (By the way I have a preliminary cover for the new book and I’m dying to show it to you but I’m not allowed and it’s killing me softly.) So back to these no bake gluten free granola bars. They’re different. And once you see how incredibly easy they are to make, you’ll be sure to always keep a stash on hand for those crazy busy school mornings when grab-and-go breakfast is all anyone can manage.
These granola bars (other than being no bake, which is a nice bonus in the summertime and really any time) are different in a few more ways: (1) They have no nuts—unless you want to add some chopped nuts in place of, say, some of the coconut chips. So if you’re tired of super-nutty granola or just can’t have nuts, these are the granola bars for you. Not to mention that nuts are expensive. (2) They are ready so fast you can’t even believe it. Cooking the brown sugar for about a minute, just until it liquefies and simmers slightly, ensures that everything sticks together super well, and super fast. And anyway speaking of sugar: (3) I have made these bars so many times, in so many slightly different ways and I can proudly report … that you can replace the brown sugar in the recipe with an equal amount, by weight, of coconut palm sugar, a much more nutrient-dense, unrefined sugar.
These are the granola bars that I stashed in my purse when we went to pick up my kids from a few weeks of sleepaway camp last week. And I have to choose carefully when I bring them food from home at a time like that. They eat a lot of processed food at camp, something they are not used to for obvious reasons (I’m no supermom, I just cook and bake for a living—you understand), and they do not like it. As my husband says, when they first come home, they’re pretty “food angry.” I’m happy to report that these highly portable, nearly nonperishable, on-the-healthy-side no bake granola bars went over very well with all 3 of my children. High fives all around!
2 cups (200 g) certified gluten free old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup (60 g) certified gluten free oat flour (I just processed old fashioned rolled oats into flour in a blender or food processor)
2 cups (60 g) gluten free crisp rice cereal (like Erewhon brown rice cereal)
1/2 cup (40 g) unsweetened coconut chips (large flakes)
4 tablespoons (56 g) virgin coconut oil
1 cup (218 g) packed light brown sugar (can use an equal amount, by weight, of coconut palm sugar (an unrefined sugar))
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (168 g) honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Line an 8-inch square baking dish with crisscrossed sheets of unbleached parchment paper, with the paper overhanging all 4 sides of the dish, and set it aside. In a large bowl, place the rolled oats, oat flour, rice cereal and coconut chips, and mix to combine well. Set the bowl aside.
In a medium-size heavy-bottom saucepan, place the coconut oil, brown sugar (or coconut palm sugar) and salt, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture liquifies and comes to a simmer. Cook, undisturbed, for 45 seconds more, and then remove from the heat. Add the honey and vanilla, stirring constantly until the mixture stops bubbling. Allow the mixture to cool slightly, until no longer hot to the touch. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients in the large bowl, pour in the warm sugar mixture and mix throughly, working quickly to prevent the warm sugar from sticking to the bottom of the bowl. Continue to mix until all of the dry ingredients have been absorbed into the mixture.
Transfer to the prepared baking dish and press very firmly into an even layer. Allow to sit at room temperature until cool and set before lifting out the bars by the overhung pieces of parchment paper. To speed the cooling and setting process, you can place the baking dish in the refrigerator. Place the bars on a cutting board and, using a large, sharp knife, cut into 12 rectangles. Wrap each bar separately and store at room temperature until ready to serve.
P.S. Which Gluten-Free on a Shoestring cookbooks do you have? There are 3! I hope you’ll consider picking them up today!!