Morning Maple Cranberry Pecan Oat Bars

 Perfect for breakfast on the go! #vegan #dairyfree #eggfree #glutenfree (if using gf oats)

Chewy bars with chunks of toasted pecans and dried cranberries combined with toasted oats, almond butter and pure maple syrup. I’m in LOVE with these bars!

I made these bars last week and I couldn’t wait to share them with you. I’ve been eating one every morning for breakfast (in fact I am having one now as I type this). These are by far, the best tasting bars I’ve ever had, they are chewy and have great texture, made with wholesome ingredients – one bar is a meal and it’s perfect to take on the go. They are also egg free, dairy free, vegan, and can be made gluten free if you use gf oats. Next time I make these, I plan on rolling them into smaller balls and turning them into healthy cookies instead.

The recipe is very slightly modified from the Power Hungry: Ultimate Energy Cookbook. Camilla really knows how to make great tasting breakfast bars, you may remember the banana split bars I made a few month back also from the same book.

Perfect for breakfast on the go!

You can use any type of mild flavored unsweetened nut butter, such as almond, cashew, or sunflower seed butter. Peanut butter would also work perfectly well in this recipe, but it can overwhelm the flavor of the maple syrup. Toasting the oats and pecans adds tremendous flavor, but if you are in a hurry, you can skip this step.

Once made, individually and tightly wrap the bars in plastic wrap. Store the bars at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Alternatively, place the wrapped bars in an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. Let the frozen bars thaw at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Maple Cranberry Morning Bars
Very slightly modified from the Power Hungry: Ultimate Energy Cookbook
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 16 • Size: 1 bar • Points +: 6 pts • Smart Points: 8
Calories: 228 • Fat: 13 g • Protein: 5 g • Carb: 27 g • Fiber: 4 g • Sugar: 12 g
Sodium: 46 mg • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Ingredients:

  • cooking spray
  • 2 cups old-fashioned or quick-cooking rolled oats (gluten-Free, if needed)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped (by hand or in food processor)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk (I used almond breeze)
  • 1/2 cup multigrain hot cereal, use GF, if needed (I used Bobs Red Mill 10 Grain)
  • 1 cup natural, unsweetened almond butter
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper and then spray with nonstick spray.

Spread the oats and pecans on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 6 to 8 minutes, shaking halfway through, until golden and fragrant. Transfer to a large bowl; add the chopped cranberries.

Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Stir in the multi-grain cereal and remove from the heat; let stand for 2 minutes. Add the nut or seed butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt. Cook and stir the mixture over low heat for 6 to 7 minutes or until thickened; remove from the heat and stir in vanilla extract.

Immediately add the cereal mixture to the oats mixture, mixing with a spatula until coated.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and flatten with the back of a measuring cup.

Place a large piece of parchment paper or wax paper atop the bar mixture and use it to spread, flatten, and very firmly compact the bars evenly in the pan. Cool completely. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm.

Using the liner, lift the mixture from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Peel off the foil or parchment and cut into 16 bars.