Happy Nut Day! No, I’m not nuts- today is actually National Nut Day! And it just happens to coincide with this month’s Recipe Redux post day so we were all challenged to share a healthy nut-filled recipe.
I love using nuts in all forms in my recipes- whole, sliced, chopped, nut butter, you name it! They are actually one of the most nutritious snacks you can eat and are packed with many beneficial nutrients including heart-healthy unsaturated fats, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
These nutty, no-bake granola bars are packed with nutrition and flavor!
- 1 ½ cups quick-cooking oats*
- 1 cup puffed rice cereal, preferably brown rice
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup coconut oil or unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup dried cherries, chopped
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
Line an 8x8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper or aluminum foil, letting the ends hang over the sides of the dish.
Mix the oats, rice cereal, almonds and flaxseed together in a bowl.
Heat the sugar, honey and coconut oil in a large saucepan on the stove, stirring often until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. Simmer the mixture for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
Pour the oat mixture into the saucepan. Using a spatula, stir to combine all of the ingredients well. Stir in the cherries.
Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and press it down into the pan, packing it in firmly (packing it in tightly will ensure that the bars don’t fall apart). Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top and press them lightly into the granola mixture.
Place the dish in the refrigerator and chill for 2 hours. Remove the granola mixture from the dish, using the parchment paper to pull it out of the dish. Place it on a cutting board and cut it into 12 bars with a sharp knife. Store extra bars in the refrigerator with parchment paper or foil in between the layers to prevent them from sticking.
* Quick-cooking oats are the same as old-fashioned, rolled oats but they are coarsely chopped so that they cook faster. If you only have old-fashioned oats, you can give them a quick whir in the food processor to make quick-cooking oats. Use about 1 ¾ cup old-fashioned oats to yield 1 ½ cups quick-cooking oats.