These bars are simple. Delish. And packed full of high quality, plant based protein.
Feel free to mix things up a little! Switch out the walnuts for pecans. The blueberries for goji berries. Throw in 1/4 cup hemp or chia seeds, (just make sure to remove 1/4 cup of something else, (like the oatmeal).
As an added bonus, these are the perfect snack to throw into the vehicle on those busy after school days…you know the ones where you, the taxi is driving like a madwoman just to get the kids to each of their activities:o)
- 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
- 3 cups gluten free oats
- ½ cup dried blueberries (or cranberries or goji berries)
- 2 ½ cups rice crisp cereal (Nature’s Path is my favourite brand)
- ½ cup pepita seeds (pumpkin seeds)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp sea salt (or a tiny bit less)
- ½ cup roasted almond butter or peanut butter
- 1 cup brown rice syrup
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a 10 by 16 inch cookie sheet with two pieces of parchment paper (one going each way).
- Spread the walnuts in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, rice crisp cereal, pepita seeds, dried blueberries, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the cooled toasted walnuts.
- In a small saucepan, stir together the brown rice syrup and almond butter until well combined. Cook over medium to high heat until the mixture softens and bubbles slightly, then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the almond butter mixture over the oat mixture, using a spatula to scrape every last bit out of the pan. Stir well until all of the oats and cereal are coated in the wet mixture. (The mixture will be thick and a little difficult to stir.)
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, spreading it out into an even layer. Lightly wet your hands and press down on the mixture to even it out. Use a pastry roller to compact the mixture firmly and evenly. This helps the bars hold together better. Press down on the edges with your fingers to even out the mixture.
- Place the pan in the freezer, uncovered, and chill for 10 minutes, or until firm.
- Lift the oat square out of the pan, using the parchment paper as handles, and place it on a cutting board. With a pizza roller (or serrated knife), slice into even rolls. You can measure out if you want to make sure your bars are perfectly sized (I simply started slicing, so some bars were a little smaller than others).
- Wrap the bars individually in plastic wrap or foil and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to a month.