If you have a fondness for carrot cake and granola bars these breakfast bars will make your taste buds happy. I made a huge tray of them and brought a stack of them to my manafrienger (manger + friend) who just so happens to be pregnant. I figure if the pregnant lady likes them, then I would have a winner. Preggo approved!
I originally started out with the intention to make some gluten free granola bars as a snack to have before my Monday night women’s running group. I need something between lunch and our Monday evening meet ups to give me some energy for running in 90+ degree weather. I researched granola bars and found a recipe from Simply Gluten Free to try, which looked lovely. As I gathered up my ingredients I found I had a bunch of carrots and assorted dried fruits in the cupboard and thought, well…why not, let’s try and make these taste like carrot cake and see what happens. Now these did not turn out like a granola bar, definitely a breakfast bar. They have just the right amount of chew, texture and fruit flavor, perfect with a cup of coffee. they remind me of the vegan oat bars I use to get from Cafe Ladro in West Seattle, one of my favorite treats!
carrot cake breakfast bars
adapted from: Simply Gluten Free Granola Bars
3/4 cup Sunbutter (or peanut butter)
1/2 cup agave (or brown sugar if you prefer)
1 medium banana, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup earth balance butter substitute (or butter)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 1/2 cups certified gluten-free rolled oats (I used bob's red mill)
1 cup dried unsweetened pineapple (chopped fine or throw in food processor and chop)
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup pitted dates (chopped or food processed to bits)
1 cup raisins
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes/shreds
2 tablespoons raw turbinado sugar (optional)
Here's what you do:
Prep all your dried fruits, either chop or pulse them in the food processor before you begin. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with gluten-free, non-stick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sunbutter, agave, mashed banana, melted earth balance (or butter), vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg until very well combined. Stir the remaining ingredients until they are evenly distributed. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar (optional). Press mixture firmly and evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely. (I cooled mine overnight and the flavors really came together). Cut into bars and wrap in plastic. I wrapped mine individually and put them in a jar on the counter. They will keep for about 5 days at room temp or up to a week in the fridge.
These bars would easily make a good cereal or topping for yogurt, ice cream...you name it. I crumbled up a couple of the bars and topped it off with some more coconut shreds and almond milk for Sunday morning breakfast.