Up your granola bar game with these simple, healthy no-bake bars. Packed with good stuff,these bars a great guilt-free snack. Not only are the almond butter and dates a tasty combination, they bind these chewy bars together perfectly. You can switch up the nuts and sub in chocolate chips for the cranberries if you want a more decadent treat. What are you waiting for? Go make a batch! -bvox
Almond Date Granola Bars
Inspired by Minimalist Baker
- 2 cups packed dates, pitted
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1 cup raw chopped almonds
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1/4 cup wheat germ or ground flax seeds
- 1/4 cup coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (I used Steph McVox’s vanilla sea salt)
Toast chopped almond and oats in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the sunflower seeds so that they get toasted for 5 minutes. You don’t have to do this step but it really adds a toasty nutty flavour.
While nuts are toasting, place dates in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water to soften them. After 10 mins, drain and chop finely.
Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add oats, nuts, cranberries, wheat germ, coconut, vanilla, and salt salt. Stir with a wooden spoon, incorporating the dates.
Warm coconut oil, honey, and almond butter in a small saucepan and pour over other ingredients. Stir quickly to evenly coat.
Transfer to a 9×13 baking dish lined with parchment or plastic wrap and use your hands or the back of your measuring cup to form the mixture tightly into the baking dish. Put them in the fridge to set for about an hour. Remove and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
When hubby recently asked me to make some granola, I didn’t have it in me to make the ‘slow bake’ and ‘stir every 10 minutes’ kind. I had seen recipes for skillet granola and thought I would try that instead. So happy I did! Making granola in a skillet couldn’t be any easier; this batch took me less than 10 minutes to make. I simply tossed everything in the skillet and voila. This recipe is vegan and it can be adapted, naturally. If you like a buttery taste, you can sub the coconut oil for butter and the maple syrup for honey. Shredded coconut and sesame seeds are also good in this granola! -bvox
- 1 ½ cups old-fashioned (large flake) oats
- ¾ cup chopped almonds
- ¼ cup pepita (pumpkin) seeds
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- a pinch of salt (I used Steph McVox’s vanilla sea salt)
- ½ cup of dried cranberries
Heat coconut oil and maple syrup in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat and stir until melted together. Stir in nuts and cook, stirring, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add oats, cinnamon, and salt and cook, stirring, until golden brown, another 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside to cool and stir in cranberries.
This sweet, salty, and spicy nut mix is crazy good and highly addictive. The original recipe by David Leibovitz calls for mini pretzels but after hunting for them at three different stores I gave up and grabbed some bugles. So happy I did! The glaze on the bugles is nothing short of a tasty miracle. These are great to package up and give as gifts or to serve up for the holidays. They go down well with hubby’s winter ale, so be sure to double the recipe. -bvox
Spiced Glazed Nuts and Bugles
Adapted from David Leibovitz
- 2 cups (200g) mixed raw nuts (untoasted); any combination of cashews, whole almonds, peanuts, pecan halves, and hazelnuts
- 1 tablespoon (15g) unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons (45g) dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or another red pepper)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt or kosher salt
- 2 cups (100g) bugles
- Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and roast in a 350F (180C) oven for 10 minutes, stirring once for even toasting.
- Like David, I melt the butter in a large bowl, so I can do all the mixing in that bowl.
- In a large bowl, mix together the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne, and maple syrup.
- Add the warm nuts, stirring until coated. Then mix in the salt and bugles, and stir until the nuts and bugles are completely coated.
- Spread the mixture back on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 12-18 minutes, stirring twice during cooking. Remove from oven and cool completely, separating the nuts and bugles as they cool.
Once cool, this mixture can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
This black bean salsa is one of the few dishes that I like raw onions in. And this is surprising given the onion-to-other-ingredients ratio. It has a lot! If you bring it along to a BBQ or picnic, encourage everyone to eat it. And they will, as it’s highly addictive. Continue reading
Now that summer is here, let’s all go on a picnic! Pan Bagnat, a yummy french layered sandwich, is what I want to bring. This sandwich is layered perfection in all of its glory. You can make it well in advance and it feeds a lot of people. A traditional Pan Bagnat has tuna, egg slices, anchovies, and olives. But this recipe is vegetarian and you can use whatever vegetables, meat/protein, and cheese you like or have on hand. Steph McVox and I use to make this sandwich for our Mother’s Day picnics with Mom and Cate–before I moved to Vancouver. We have lots of good memories of those days and we’re long overdue for a picnic. -bvox
Grilled Vegetable Pan Bagnat
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 large round country loaf
- 1-2 zucchinis, sliced length-way, grilled
- 1 eggplant, sliced length-way, grilled
- 4 portabello mushrooms, gilled and grilled
- 2 medium-size, ripe tomatoes, sliced
- 1 large red onion, caramelized with herbs
- Slices of your favourite cheese (I used brie)
- 12 large basil leaves
- Grill vegetables (brush with oil and salt and pepper first) and caramelize your onions first. You can also use raw onions and cucumber slices to work around this step.
- Whisk together red wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.
- Slice country loaf in half and pull out some of the soft interior crumb to form a cavity.
- Drizzle half of the vinaigrette mixture on the bottom of the bread. Top with layers of your vegetables and cheese. Drizzle remaining vinaigrette over the top. Cover with the second bread half and firmly press the sandwich together.
- Wrap the sandwich tightly in plastic wrap, then place in a plastic bag. Put sandwich under a weight, such as a cast-iron frying pan topped with something heavy and sturdy. Weight sandwich for 10 minutes, then flip and weight it for another 10 minutes. Unwrap, slice and serve–or keep it wrapped for up to 8 hours before serving.
This chickpea dish is my latest food obsession. I’ll make a batch at the start of the week as my quick lunch and dinner go-to staple. Cooking the chickpeas gives them a nice toasted crunch on outside and a creamy bite on the inside. Continue reading
Tomato soup is one of life’s big comforts. And whoever thought of pairing a bowl of tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich should be granted knighthood. Sharp gooey cheddar snuggled between buttery crispy bread longs to be dunked into bowls of rich tomatey goodness. Grilled cheese sandwiches are my favourite sandwich and one of the first things I learned how to cook as a child. I’d often make them for lunch alongside a bowl of Campbell’s tomato soup. Now I make my own. Continue reading