Last week, the Mr. and I popped into the newest Price Chopper store, situated conveniently in Liberty, MO, i.e., the nearest mid-sized town (yeah, we live way out in the sticks). It also just so happens to be the first Price Chopper with a natural foods department – cool but surprising, given its rather rural location. Anyhow, one of the endcaps sported a massive display of granola goodness – all of it absurdly expensive, natch – and I’ve been craving granola ever since.
So I hopped on the interwebs – can you even remember what life was like before the invention of the tubes? – in search of diy granola recipes. Which I found in spades. Also discovered: recipes for diy granola bars, which I hadn’t even considered! It’s been eons since I’ve tasted a store-bought granola bar; most contain honey or some such taboo, animal-derived ingredient, and those that don’t are (broken record!) absurdly expensive. Okay, well, maybe not “absurdly”; perhaps “unreasonably” is more like it.
Anyhow, once the possibility of homemade granola bars hit my radar, plans for homemade granola hit the back burner. Seeing as all the (mostly non-vegan, but easily veganized) recipes were slightly different, I combined the ingredients and instructions of several to make (drumroll please!) – Chewy Chocolate Marshmallow Granola Bars!
I used some of my newly-purchased Sweet & Sara vegan marshmallows in the recipe –
– a risky move, since I wasn’t sure it’d work out – but the gamble totally paid off.
These granola bars are absolute chewy gooey yummy oat-y vegan goodness. WIN.
And the sweets from Sweet & Sara – not bad either. (The understatement of the week.) I had hoped to offer a review soon, preferably as part of a side-by-side taste test with Chicago Soydairy’s Dandies, but alas! – The latter are completely unavailable at the moment.
In any case, I bring you…
Chewy Chocolate Marshmallow Granola Bars
(Adapted from ‘Make your own Granola Bars‘ at food.families.com.)
4 cups quick oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup agave nectar + a little extra to taste
1 stick (1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons) margarine
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup vegan marshmallows (approximately 10 Sweet & Sara’s marshmallows), cut into small pieces
1. Preheat your oven to 325.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the quick oats, brown sugar and salt. Mix and set aside.
3. In a microwavable bowl, combine the agave nectar, margarine and vanilla. Microwave for about 30 seconds, or until the margarine is softened. Mix until reasonably blended.
4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients in the large mixing bowl. Stir in the chocolate chips and marshmallows, adjusting the amount of each according to your tastes. If the mix doesn’t seem sticky enough, add a little extra agave nectar.
Note: I used approximately ten of Sweet & Sara’s coconut-coated marshmallows, quartering them before adding them to the oat mix.
5. Transfer the oat mix into a greased baking pan, 9×13 inches or similar, and pat the mix down with a spoon so that it’s dense and well-packed.
Optional: Pour some melted chocolate on top of the “loaf” prior to baking, so that the bars are chocolate coated. You can do this instead of or in addition to adding chocolate chips to the oat mix.
6. Bake at 325 degrees for 18 to 30 minutes. Check in on the pan periodically, making sure that the bottom of the bars doesn’t burn.
7. Let cool for 10 to 30 minutes before slicing the loaf into bar-like pieces.
Hint: I tried cutting off a slice after about 10 minutes, when the bars were still warm, and ’twas so crumbly that I had to eat it with a fork. Yummy and gooey, but crumbly. It’s much easier to slice into bite-sized bars after thirty minutes on the counter, or even a night in the fridge.
Tagged: vegan veganism vegetarian vegetarianism recipe dessert food granola granola bars snack oats quick oats chocolate chocolate chips agave nectar sugar marshmallows sweet & sara flickr photos herbivore snack bar frugal cheap diy Chewy Chocolate Marshmallow Granola Bars chewy gooey