CHEERS TO THE LOOOOOONG WEEKEND!
Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian peeps!
So, this ain’t exactly a Thanksgiving themed recipe. It definitely ain’t turkey or turkey stuffing or pumpkin pie… BUT, BUT, BUT… in the spirit of fall & Halloween & all things pumpkin, IT DOES CONTAIN PUMPKIN SEEDS… & it’s pretty freaking DELICIOUS. It’s definitely something I’d settle for over turkey. YA FEEL ME? Wait a sec… how could you feel me if I didn’t even tell you what it is yet… AM I OKAY? NAH.
Kay fine, I’ll tell you…
HOMEMADE 10-MINUTE VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE NO-BAKE GRANOLA BARS!
P.S. The original recipe for these babies was inspired by one on Food52, but I found there just wasn’t enough in ’em so I jam-packed them with a few of my own ideas!
I don’t even know where to begin with these babies. THERE IS SO MUCH I NEED & WANT TO SAY. YOU HAVE NO IDEA. So first, let me tell you, in just a few brief words, why you need these in your life.
- Super nutritious!
- Packed with protein & healthy fats!
- Refined sugar-free & just the perfect amount of natural sweetness!
- Great on-the-go snack! (especially for those long days at work & with exam season creeping around – LORD KNOWS YOU’LL BE NEEDING THAT BRAIN FOOD & brain food these babies are, let me tell ya!).
- Crunchy, crumbly but just the right amount of chewy!
NOW THAT YOU KNOW ALL THAT, let me convince you A TAD MORE & tell you why I used certain ingredients in this babies. Y’ALL READY FOR THIS?! I promise to keep it short because I’ve got LOTS of ingredients to talk about here.
WHY BROWN RICE PUFFS?
- Contains ZERO sugar, which makes it a WAY HEALTHIER ALTERNATIVE to other cereals that contain up to 30g of added sugar per serving!
- Contains fibre, which makes it great for digestion & regularity!
- Very low in cholesterol!
- Contains B-vitamins & zinc, magnesium, phosphorus & manganese (which helps with the metabolism of carbs & protein & helps promote a healthy nervous system!).
WHY PUMPKIN SEEDS?
- These babes are nutritional powerhouses, containing copper, manganese, protein & zinc (great for immune system support!)
- They also contain plant compounds, known as phytosterols & antioxidants to help fight free radicals!
- Heart & liver healthy!
- Contains plant-based omega-3 fats!
- Anti-inflammatory benefits!
- Promotes restful sleep as it contains tryptophan!
- Helps improve HDL cholesterol!
- Anti-inflammatory benefits!
- Great for immune system boost & health!
- Antioxidant protection at the cellular level!
- Anti-cancer benefits!
- Great for digestion!
- Super high in fibre & vitamin C!
- Anti-aging properties!
- Great for nervous system health!
WHY BROWN RICE SYRUP?
Contains some trace minerals, such as magnesium, zinc & manganese! BUT, it’s still not a healthier sugar alternative than raw organic unpasteurized honey, coconut sugar, pure organic maple syrup or stevia!
P.S. To read my post all about healthier sugar alternatives, click here: The Nitty-Gritty on Healthy Sugar Alternatives & Substitutes a.k.a. Nobody-Said-You-Couldn’t-Curb-Them-Sugar-Cravings-Just-Curb-‘Em-Wisely!
- Antibacterial, anti-fungal & anti-viral!
- Jam-packed with antioxidants!
- Reduces blood pressure & lowers cholesterol!
- Improves digestion!
- Helps lower blood sugar levels!
- ADDS NATURAL SWEETNESS!
- Bone & nervous system healthy!
- … & the bomb.com – ANTI-INFLAMMATORY!
- Super heart healthy!
- Contains tons of vitamin E (131% of the RDV in one serving!!!!!) WHAT! & riboflavin!
- Helps with healthy weight maintenance!
- Contains tons of protein & fibre!
- Great for maintaining healthy cholesterol & blood pressure levels!
- Extra nourishing for the skin & may help with complexion improvements!
- Bone healthy!
- Boosts energy & immune system health!
- Great for THE BRAIN! Told ya these were brain food!!!!!!
OKAY, now that you know what not only makes these babes scrumptiously delicious, BUT ALSO SUPER DUPER UBER CRAZY INSANELY HEALTHY, let’s get down to THE BUSINESS. THE REAL DEAL STUFF.
My loves, YOU WILL NEED:
- 1.5 cups of gluten-free rolled oats (For this recipe, I used Bob’s Red Mill);
- 1 cup of organic gluten-free brown rice puffs wholegrain cereal (For this recipe, I used Simple Treasures);
- 1/4 cup of raw organic pumpkin seeds (pepitas);
- 1/4 cup of raw organic sliced almonds;
- 1/4 cup of organic unsweetened dried cranberries;
- 1/3 cup of raw creamy almond butter (For this recipe, I used Maranatha);
- 2/3 cups of organic brown rice syrup (For this recipe, I used Lundberg Farms). You may have to adjust the quantity based on how well things stick together!
- 1-1.5 tsp. of ground cinnamon;
- 1/8 tsp. of sea salt;
- OPTIONAL: Add in 1/8 to 1/4 cup of unsweetened organic shredded coconut!
NOW, for that HOW-TO?
- Add all your ingredients to a LARGE mixing bowl & toss/mix well until everything is fully combined & sticking!
- If it’s too dry: you can add in some more brown rice syrup (or add in some pure organic maple syrup if you want to give it a bit of a maple-y touch!). Basically, the goal is to not have any leftover oats/nuts/seeds//dried fruit floating around your bowl. They should all stick & hold together with the sticky ingredients!
- Once you’ve got your mixture, line a baking dish (round or square pan is best!) with foil or saran wrap (I used saran wrap).
- NOW, PRESS THE MIXTURE INTO THE LINED BAKING DISH! Make sure to press it well. There shouldn’t be any holes or cracks on the sides – it should fit perfectly within the dish & be flattened as much as you can so everything is compact & tight!
- Once the mix is well set, cover it with MORE saran & press until it fits tightly. REFRIGERATE FOR 4-5 HOURS!
- After 4-5 hours, remove the baking dish from the fridge. Cut the bars lengthwise & then halve them!
- Once your bars are cut up, wrap each one individually in a piece of wax paper & refrigerate them in a large Ziploc bag until you’re ready to devour ’em!
- The babes should last up to two weeks in the fridge… BUT LET’S BE HONEST, BY THE END OF THE WEEK, YOU’LL BE MEAL PREPPING A FRESH BATCH!
Stored like such!