Here’s a great idea for breakfast on the run: Take your favorite granola recipe and convert it into bars.
Keep in mind that, as opposed to traditional granola, which is spread out on a sheet pan and slowly toasted, homemade granola bars will require additional baking time to give them a chance to set up, and they will probably be more delicate than the packaged bars you find at the store. Vary the flavorings and sweeteners to suit your tastes and use up ingredients you have on hand.
Vegan berry granola bars
Time: 1 hour, plus cooling time
Makes 12 to 16 bars
Note: From Noelle Carter. Sugar is often processed using animal bone char, which is unacceptable to many vegans. This recipe calls for vegan sugar (animal-free processing), which is generally available at health food markets, as well as online.
1 1/4 cups refined coconut oil
1 cup vegan sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 teaspoons almond extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups almond meal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups (12.75 ounces) flour
1 cup berry jam or preserves
1 pint fresh berries
1 cup sliced almonds
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a medium bowl using a hand mixer, beat together the coconut oil, sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract and salt until well combined, 1 to 2 minutes.
By hand, stir in the almond meal, then the baking powder and flour until thoroughly incorporated. The dough will be somewhat crumbly; this is OK.
Place three-fourths of the dough mixture into the greased baking dish, pressing to form an even layer across the bottom of the dish.
Spoon the jam over the dough, spreading to form an even layer that reaches almost to the edges of the dough. Sprinkle over the berries.
Add the sliced almonds to the remaining dough, pressing until the mixture will clump in your hands. Crumble the mixture over the berries and jam.
Bake the bars until the topping is firm and lightly browned, about 45 minutes. Remove and cool on a rack before cutting into bars.