Coconut and Chia Granola Bars
The more and more nuts, grains and seeds I eat, the more I find myself craving them mid morning or afternoon each day. I try to make a variety of different seed/nut based bars to satisfy this craving and they’re really good for school lunches.
These Granola Bars are one of the bars I’ve enjoyed very much. They’re from the Ancient Grains cookbook I won recently on Instagram. Catherine Saxelby a leading Australian Nutritionist was running the giveaway over a number of weeks. Each week she’d set a theme based on ancient grains (the week I participated it was side dishes) so I entered a photo of a Roasted Cauliflower, Quinoa and Chickpea Salad I’d made a few weeks previous and…success! I was one of the winners for that week. You can see my instagram feed here.
I was excited to win the book as I’ve been wanting to learn more about different grains available and how to cook with them for a long time. Catherine’s book covers grains I’ve heard of such as Oats, Quinoa and Barley and some I haven’t heard of such as Amaranth, Teff, Sorghum and Ancient Wheat to name a few.
These Granola Bars are the first recipe I’ve tried from the book and wanted to share them with you all here today. They’re really good, when I posted them on Instagram I had such a wonderful response. I think people are looking for wholefood recipes today that are good for their health, treats you can enjoy everyday that are good for you and will nourish your body.
I still enjoy traditonal desserts as well but try and save making those for special occasions like a birthday or Father’s Day that’s coming up here in Australia on 1st September.
Here’s a link to Catherine’s website Foodwatch if you’d like to learn more from her and of course the recipe for these satisfying Granola Bars. I’ve adapted the recipe by substituting raisins for dried cranberries and sultanas for dried apricots as that’s what we preferred, but feel free to add any dried fruit you like.
Coconut and Chia Granola Bars
2 cups (6 1/2 oz/185g) rolled oats
1 cup (2 1/2 oz/70g) shredded coconut
1/4 cup (1 1/4 oz/35g sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (2 3/4 oz/80g) cranberries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz/70g) sultanas, roughly chopped
1/2 cup (2 3/4 oz/80g) raw cashews, roughly chopped
3 1/2 fl oz/105ml vegetable oil
1/3 cup (2 3/4 oz/80g) brown sugar
1/2 cup (4 fl oz/120ml) honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Turn oven on to 140C (275 degrees F) and line a 20 x 30cm (8 x 12 inch) tin with baking paper.
In a bowl place rolled oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, raisins, dried apricots and cashews. Mix together.
Place the vegetable oil, brown sugar, honey and vanilla extract into a saucepan. Cook stirring constantly, over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the ingredients are well combined.
Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Press the granola bar mixture firmly into the prepared tin, then press the mixture with the back of a spoon until smooth.
Bake for 45 minutes or until it’s an even dark golden brown colour. Set aside to cool completely, then refrigerate overnight (easier to cut) before removing from the tin and cutting into bars.