These healthy chocolate fruit nut granola bars are incredibly versatile and easy to make. We have experimented with our fairly traded chocolate baking ingredients and we have found that adding a coating of melted Pure Cacao Melts and then topping it with Food Thoughts Roasted Cacao Nibs is just the trick! The nibs give these chocolate fruit and nut granola bars just the right bite and the dark chocolate of the cacao melts balances well with the sweetness of the dried fruits. Making them ideal for picnics, snacks and packed lunches, for adults and kids. And because they are packed with healthy nuts and fruits, they are also great to ‘grab and go’ for breakfast as you head out. And did we tell you they are gluten and dairy free?
Feel free to experiment further and adapt the fruit and nuts used to your favourite and available combinations. If you make these at the weekend, then they will last all week (with any luck).
Note: They are rather sticky, so store with sheets of parchment between them. They can also be frozen in an airtight container. Enjoy!
You will need
- 300g rolled oats
- 2 tbs sunflower oil (or similar)
- 50g brown sugar
- 2 tbs maple syrup
- 4 tbs runny honey
- 1 tsp vanilla essence, 1 tsp cinnamon
- 140g Food Thoughts Pure Cacao Melts
- Food Thoughts Roasted Cacao Nibs for topping
- FRUIT filling, either
- a. 50g coconut flakes, 100g glace cherries and 50g pistachio nuts or
- b. 50g each of candied orange peel, dates, ginger, walnuts or
- c. your own combination
Heat oven to 350F / 180C. Lay oats onto a baking tray and put in the oven for 15 minutes, stirring once mid-way through.
Put oil, sugar, honey, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon into a pan and heat until all dissolved and melted together.
Place oats in a bowl and pour in the melted ingredients. Stir together well. Gradually add in your fruit and nuts (all finely chopped) until the mixture is solid but still sticky to allow it chance to 'set' when it is in the fridge / freezer. The amount required will depend on the fruit and nuts you ave selected to use and your personal taste preferences.
Line a baking tray (with relatively high edges) with baking parchment and pour your mixture in. Level out. Use another piece of baking parchment on top so that you can apply pressure and compact, whilst pushing mixture right into the side.
Melt the Cacao Melts in the microwave at 30 second intervals, or in a bain-marie then smooth on top of your granola slab. Sprinkle the roasted cacao nibs on top, applying a little pressure to secure them into the cacao chocolate beneath.
Leave the granola bar to set for at least a couple of hours in the freezer then remove and cut into pieces.
You can keep these bars in the fridge or freezer. Place a piece of baking paper / parchment between each slice so they don't stick together.