The recent heat wave, which I am happy to report is over, meant that our oven was on a bit of a hiatus. We started to use the BBQ to cook our dinner with great results. Unfortunately, it also meant that my baking productions (because let’s admit, it’s always a production) was put on a hiatus as well.
So what is a girl to do when the baking bug hits her in the middle of a heat wave?
Make something no-bake of course.
I first made my version of a no-bake granola bar on the weekend and, although they were definitely edible, I knew they needed some tweaking.
The main problem for us was that the sweetness level was over-the-top.
In the past year we have tried to cut out a lot of refined sugar in our everyday eating. As a result, our sweetness tolerance has gone way down. Even vegetables started tasting sweeter to us. Now when I bake (or no-bake) I try to use sugar replacements like maple syrup, agave and honey. But even those can be too sweet sometimes and it takes a couple of tries before I can get it just right. For the record, I do still bake with sugar sometimes depending on the recipe and who I am baking for, and I’m not sugar-free by any means.
This was my second attempt, and I’m happy with the results, but will probably still continue to play around with them. I can’t wait to experiment with different fruit and nut combos and possibly a nut butter free version since the schools around here are all peanut-free.
These are a great portable snack for lunches. My husband said that he felt more energetic at work after eating them, and he walks around the bush all day so that’s saying something. These were inspired by the many food blogs I read – some of those ladies have the best ideas that are forever stuck in my head! Check out my Simply Be…a blogger list for links to all of their fabulousness.
No-bake Coconut Apricot Almond Granola Bars with Dark Chocolate
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 3 tbsp chia seeds
- 2/3 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/3 cup light coconut milk
- 2 tbsp agave (sub in maple syrup if you like them sweeter)
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup diced dried apricots
- 1/3 cup chopped almonds
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
- Toast oats, almonds and coconut in a pan over medium heat until fragrant (5-10 minutes). Let cool slightly.
- Combine toasted oats, toasted coconut, coconut flour, chia seeds, toasted almonds, apricots and chocolate chips in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a small bowl combine peanut butter, coconut milk and agave. Heat in microwave for 45 seconds. Stir mixture until combined then add vanilla.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together throughly.
- Line a 9X12 pan with Saran wrap. Place the mixture in the pan and spread evenly with your hands making the top as smooth as possible.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour. Cut into bars. I wrap them in twos in Saran wrap and keep them in my fridge. They only lasted four days in our house but should keep for over a week in the fridge.
I tried to take pictures as I made them but the lighting wouldn’t cooperate so I gave up and used a picture of the first batch in this post.
I’ll figure out my camera eventually.
Maybe I should balance out my food blog reading with a little reading about photography.