You only need 8 ingredients to make these amazing Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Pecan Granola Bars. These are so delicious and made with wholesome ingredients, that you will never need to buy preservative and chemical-filled store versions again. Easy, fast and delicious!
2cups214 g old fashioned rolled oats (use gluten-free if necessary)
1/2cup20 g brown rice crisp cereal (I use Nature's Path, only ingredient is rice)
1/2cup70 g pecan pieces (if using pecan halves, give a rough chop so they are small pieces)
1/4cup24 g unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2cup+ 2 tablespoons200g pure maple syrup
1/4cup64g almond butter
2tablespoons30 ml water
1/4cup24 g ground flaxseed
1/4teaspoonfine sea salt
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees and line an 8x8 metal pan with parchment paper going both directions for easy removal later.
To a large bowl, add the oats, rice cereal, pecans and cocoa powder. Stir well to mix everything.
To a small pot, add the syrup, almond butter and water. Turn the heat to medium, once it is bubbling stir well to mix the ingredients until smooth and let it bubble for a good minute. Now stir in the flaxseed, vanilla and salt until smooth. It is very important that you are adding the flaxseed at this step because it causes the flaxseed to react and become much more sticky this way, which will help the bars hold.
Pour the heated mixture over the dry ingredients and stir for a couple of minutes until everything comes together and is sticky, making sure to get everything at the bottom of bowl. Stir and press the mixture with the back of a metal spoon to help it get sticky.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and press down the mixture with the back of a spoon or spatula, making sure to spread it evenly and flat and not forgetting the corners. Place a piece of parchment paper on top and press down flat and hard with your hands. Go along the edges with your fingernails pressing down to smooth the edges and corners, making it all even. This is important to help the bars bake firm and hold their shape.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until firm. 25 minutes will be soft and chewy (what I did) and 30 minutes will be harder and crispier. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes, do not try and cut these early or they will fall apart! Slice them into desired shapes. I sliced them into 10 bars while still in the pan, the standard size of a granola bar, then place them in the fridge to finish completely cooling and firm up before removing from the pan, as they will still be tender. Then you can store each bar individually wrapped tightly and inside a container or large ziplock bag. The longer these sit, the firmer they get. They are the most firm by the next day.