In grammar school, my mom would pack me a granola bar that was so dry I’d nearly break my teeth. Perhaps I made the Chewy Carrot Cake Granola Bars extra chewy with those jaw-breakers in mind. If you don’t want them as chewy, you can add a little less maple syrup and coconut and bake for several minutes more.
I experimented with a few different batches of granola bars here, altering the ingredients each time to my liking. I finally decided on my favorite which is the recipe below. I just loved their chewy texture.
The taste of the Chewy Carrot Cake Granola Bars reminded me of traditional carrot cake with the carrot, raisin, and cinnamon flavors. But unlike most carrot cakes, these little guys are loaded with good stuff: nuts, coconut, ground flax, dried fruits, spice and my personal touch, shredded carrots. The carrots give it a beautiful color and a little moisture.
I was inititally afraid the bars weren’t going to bind well but they did (see below note on binding). I wrapped up the bars individually so I can conveniently grab them and go. Enjoy!
- 1½ cups gluten-free quick oats
- 1 cup assorted dried fruit (cherries, dates, raisins), finely chopped
- ⅔ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¼ cup raw cashews, smashed into pieces
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, crushed
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Place foil on baking sheet. In a large mixing bowl, add dry ingredients (oats, dried fruit, coconut, cashews, carrots, seeds, cinnamon and salt). Toss well.
- Add maple syrup, honey and oil to the mixture and mix well. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and relatively flat, about ¼ inch high.
- Cook for 35 minutes or until top is slightly browned.
- Cut bars while they are hot but allow them to fully cool for 10-15 minutes before picking them up to prevent breakage. Enjoy!