There’s really nothing like homemade granola bars. They’re an easy, luxurious addition to anyone’s snack repertoire. I like my granola bars chewy (no Nature’s Valley oats ‘n’ mummy dust for me, thanks), and these hit the sweet spot on texture as well as taste. (Who doesn’t like a sweet, seedy pumpkin spice treat?) Best of all, these are easy to make; forget the oven!
It must be known that every time I make these my husband takes at least two in his bag for the workday. My sister has stuffed her purse with them after noticing the neatly wrapped little beauties sitting on my counter. Suffice to say, these babies are sweet little showstoppers that will impress anyone who tastes them.
Pumpkin Spice No-Bake Granola Bars
Recipe adapted from eating from the ground up
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats (old-fashioned, not quick-cooking or instant)
- 1 1/2 cups plain puffed rice or millet (hint: cereal aisle, natural section)
You can also forgo mixing up the grains and use a straight 3 cups of oats.
- 1 1/2 cups pepitas (pumpkin seeds sans shells)
If you use salted pepitas, simply omit the salt in this recipe. If you don’t have pepitas, use sunflower seeds or toasted and chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts.
- 1 1/2 cups dried sweetened cranberries
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I have used both canola and olive oil with equally pleasant results.)
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup (find this at your natural foods grocer) If you don’t have it or can’t find it, try corn syrup, maple syrup, agave, or honey if you aren’t vegan. Post your results to let me know how it worked!
- 1/4 cup vegan brown sugar or turbinado sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix the dry ingredients and set aside.
- Spray the inside of a 9×13 glass baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring all the wet mixture ingredients except vanilla to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook for just one minute past boiling, then remove from heat, stir in vanilla, and pour over the dry mixture, stirring vigorously as you do. Make sure the wet and dry mixtures are completely combined and there are no dry pockets.
- When it’s all mixed, dump the contents of your mixing bowl into the oiled baking dish and smush down the granola with your stirring spoon.
- Now tear off a piece of wax paper that is longer than your baking dish and cover the granola; using your hands, smush the granola down until it is tightly packed in an even layer. Leave the wax paper on and refrigerate the granola for at least an hour.
- With a quick flip, turn out your granola onto its wax paper and slice into bars. I usually cut my block in half lengthwise, then halve it width-wise, then halve those halves… You get the picture. When your granola bars are sliced, wrap them individually in plastic wrap, glad wrap, or waxed paper. These will keep for at least a week, but you’ll eat them all before then.