Chewy Granola Bars [Gluten-Free & Vegan Friendly]

Sometimes, I think granola bars are just an excuse to have a cookie in the shape of a rectangle. I mean, c’mon, they’re delicious. And just perfect for munching across campus pretending you’re a backpacker in the wilderness coming down to the valley for a post-hike snack. At least, that’s what I do on my way to class…..

Also known as a “hipster cookie”, these granola bars are actually quite packed with all the good things a cookie might not be. Whole grains, dried fruit, minimal amounts of fat, no preservatives, etc. And they’re incredibly easy to make (I’m serious it took all of 5 minutes to whip together).

Rather than use flour, these bad boys use quick cooking oats finely chopped in the food processor. Et voila! Oat flour! It really gives a nice, nutty taste and crunchy texture. I also added a few of my favorite things such as raisins, mini chocolate chips, and shredded coconut to the mix but the possibilities are truly endless. Enjoy!

Chewy Granola Bars
Yield: 5 bars       Prep Time: 5 minutes         Cook Time: 8-10 minutes

(inspired by Flourless Oatmeal Cookies by Chocolate Covered Katie)

3/4 cup + 1/4 cup oats, divided
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons white sugar
1 tablespoon oil or pre-melted butter (earth balance is a nice vegan choice)
1.5 tablespoons of milk (any kind will do)
1 tablespoon shredded coconut

1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips (enjoy life brand rocks!)
2 tablespoons raisins
Blend first 5 ingredients together in a food processor, reserving the 1/4 cup of oats. Mixture should be fairly course. Mix in remaining ingredients, form into a rectangle, and place on a greased cookie sheet. Cook 8-10 minutes at 375 F. Cut into 5 equal sized bars and serve. 

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