Sunday, November 25, 2007

Maple Hemp Granola Bars

We are still scarfing back leftovers from yesterday's party, so I thought I would say a few words about lunch. If you don't already know, the Vegan Lunchbox cookbook is the best thing to happen to lunchtime since . . . well, sliced bread, I guess. The recipes are tasty, creative, and kid-friendly. When I was a kid I took PB&J most of the time--I still love it, actually. But, due to peanut allergies, peanut butter has been banned from the kids' school. So, the kids take hummus and veggies, vegetable soup, veggie meat and crackers, that kind of thing.

I have been working on a granola bar recipe to give the kids an extra nutrition boost at school. The trick is making a vegan granola bar that sticks together without honey, corn syrup, or peanut butter. These have maple syrup and flax to bind them together, sunflower seeds for calcium, pepitas for iron, and hemp for protein.

- 4 cups quick cooking oats
- 1/3-1/2 cup canola oil (you can get away with 1/3 cup if you want a lower fat recipe--the bars will be a bit drier)
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup each hemp seeds, hemp powder, raisins, sunflower seeds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), ground flax seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Spread oats out on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 mins, stirring twice to prevent burning.
2. Mix all other ingredients in a large bowl. Add in warm oats and mix well.
3. Press mixture into a lightly oiled 9x13 pan, using a piece of waxed paper. They key here is to press really hard and compact the mixture as much as possible.
4. Bake for 25-30 mins, until golden brown. Cool completely and cut into bars.


healthnut said...

Thanks for including the recipe - I really need to start bringing healthier snacks to school and those bars look very good!

Anonymous said...

do you have any less pricey ideas for the sweetener than a cup of maple syrup? would using any dry sugar work, or is the m.s. what holds it all together?thanks!

Vegan Dad said...

Yes, I should have pointed out that these are not the kind of granola bars you want to make every week. between the hemp and the maple syrup they can be pricey. I have been spoiled by my time in Ohio where we were able to but huge jugs of maple syrup from the farm for really cheap.

I will look into a cheaper alternative. The syrup does help hold the bar together, along with the flax and the slight melting of the chocolate chips. Time to get back to the test kitchen!

SaraJane said...

These look fantastic. What a great way to have a healthy snack. I think I might try this with dried cranberries as well.

forthebirds said...

I did try these out and they are scrumptious. I did reduce the oil a bit and recommend the full amount as they were a little bit crumbly (I pressed them down as hard as I could). I had a dried fruit mix which I used instead of just raisins. It added a nice variety of fruit flavour with each bite.

Asmith said...

These look great and I've been looking for a quick vegan protein bar on the go... I saw one on vegan essentials but they were all sold out... Most I find have at least twice the sugar then protein and I would prefer that switched... so is there any way that you know how much protein versus sugars these contain? in grams or something? and I didn't know sunflower seeds contained calcium that's incredibly helpful thank you! I've been using calcium gummies from the artisan sweets branch off... half a bag contains all your calcium and vitamin c for the day... they have to be ordered and they're a little pricey with shipping and everything... and sugary especially compared to sunflower seeds! I live in the us midwest where sunflower seeds and such are readily available

Vegan Dad said...

The best I can do is guess from nutritional info gleaned from websites. In the entire recipe there are 22g of protein from the hemp seeds, and 30g from the hemp powder, about 5g each the pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, and 40g from the oatmeal. I cut mine into 20 bars, so that would equal about 5g of protein per bar.

The maple syrup contributes 224g of sugar, 32g from the chocolate chips, and 29g from the raisins. So, that would be about 14g per bar.

Hmmm . . . suddenly I am wondering if I should alter the recipe. You could easily leave out the chocolate chips and raisins, and probably reduce the syrup to 3/4 cup. You could also increase the hemp--every tbsp of hemp powder has 15g of protein.

As for calcium, I rely on soy milk and dark leafy greens and vegetables. Collard greens have as much calcium as milk.

asmith said...

haha i shall definitely try that someday when i have more then 5 late night minutes to spare... thanks and let me know if you end up altering it... i want to make your pumpkin scones too but i have no time to bake anything for like till febuary... siiigh

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to trying this recipe! Regarding avoiding peanut butter because of allergies... can you get Pea Butter? I have a friend with a nut allergy and she uses it in all of her baking and finds it tastes the same. My kids actually don't seem to care if I give them Peanut butter and honey sandwiches or PEA butter sandwiches... it's more expensive, but it's a good source of protein as well, I think!

But that Pea Butter info was just sort of an aside, because I love the look of this recipe the way it is! I might try to do it both ways, with choc chips and without (or with less...) Thanks for sharing!

Karenphoto said...

so happy these came up on my google search, they were perfection, do you mind if I share the recipe on my blog?
Crediting you of course