Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Snack Bars | infinebalance.com #vegan #kidfood
Another granola bar. Okay, okay. These are not extremely original. I’ve made and written about various versions. Homemade granola bars are fairly easy and these cranberry and dark chocolate snack bars don’t need any oven time. Which means 15 minutes, tops.

And so, as always with these things, quantities are just a guideline. Yes, often a batch follows a minor pantry clean out. Nothing better than getting that almost empty bag of dried cranberries out of the cupboard. So, if you don’t have pumpkin seeds, fine – add more chocolate, or more dried cranberries, or add some real nuts.

Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Snack Bars | Infinebalance.com #vegan #kidfood

Basic method and ratios for these bars come from the Oh She Glows cookbook.  I’ve adapted slightly to make them nut-free and added some chocolate. I have used WOWButter in place of natural nut butter. WOWbutter is a nut-free, peanut-butter substitute. Natural sunflower seed butter will work too, I just happen to have WOWbutter on hand. The kids like it best. The original recipe calls for brown rice syrup. Regular old corn syrup also works – you know the kind grandma used.  Be careful with other liquid sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, agave – they are not tacky enough.  I think corn syrup has gotten a bad rap – the stuff you buy at the supermarket is not the same as that toxic high-fructose variety. And actually, it’s fairly harmless as far as sugars go.  Of course, that is my opinion.  Just stick to something very, very sticky.
Since the syrup and WOWbutter are heated together don’t add the chocolate chips until the very end. Add the syrup mixture to the oats and seed mixture first and combine well before adding in the chocolate chips, heat from the syrup mixture will melt the chocolate. I’m sure they will still taste good though. So get the oats and seeds all mixed well and coated well, by then the syrup mixture will have cooled enough that you can throw in the chocolate chips without them melting into little chocolate puddles. It’s an aesthetics thing.

Serves 1 bar

Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Snack Bars

A simple no-bake, no-nut snack bar perfect for school lunches. Be creative, go ahead and change up the ingredients.

15 minPrep Time

15 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1-1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup golden corn syrup (or brown rice syrup)
  • 1/2 cup WOWbutter (or sunflower-seed butter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (60% cocoa or more, vegan preferable)

Instructions

  1. Prepare a 8X8 baking pan by lining with parchment paper. Lay two sheets cross-wise on top of each other so that paper hangs over all four sides of the pan.
  2. In a large bowl mix together all ingredients - oats through chia seeds.
  3. In a small sauce pan bring to slight boil - syrup, WOW butter and vanilla. It should just bubble slightly. And should only take a couple of minutes over medium heat.
  4. Pour syrup mixture over oat mixture and stir to combine. It will be stiff and difficult to stir, you may want to use your hands. (its a bit messy that way). Once all is well combined, mixture will be cool enough now, add the chocolate chips.
  5. Press resulting sticky mix into the prepared pan, ensure you press evenly into the sides and the corners. I use the back of a metal measuring cup to make the top smooth and even. Press firmly, so they bars are really packed together.
  6. Chill in the refrigerator for about an hour before cutting.
  7. Use the overhanging parchment paper to remove the bars from the pan. Cut the block in half, then each half into 8 thin bars. Makes 16 snack bars.