These Chewy Peanut Butter Coconut Oat Granola Bars with a silky vegan butterscotch ripple are easy to make and perfect for snacking in a hurry. Grab a bar at breakfast or tote it off with you to work or school. Creamy nut butter (any variety can be used, not just peanut) blends with crunchy rolled oats, nutty flax seeds, some toasted coconut and a generous, but subtle dose of coconut nectar syrup. You could substitute with brown rice syrup if needed. These bars bake up chewy on the outside, crisp on the outside. Plenty of warming spices and vanilla bean accents too. And if you are lucky enough to pick up some vegan butterscotch chips, fold them into the mix or melt them into a pourable glaze on top. You could use chocolate chips, carob chips or cacao nibs if you'd like as well! So many possibilities with these easy vegan bars..
Vegan Butterscotch Chips. Found at Viva la Vegan grocery store. They are not the healthiest ingredient by any means, but it is awesome that they exist if a butterscotch chip craving ever strikes you!
You can buy them online too!.. Lieber's Butterscotch Chips
To make sure these bars turn out nice and chewy, you need to squish them in the pan nice and packed and thick too. About 3/4" thick when going in the oven. Then you want to bake the bars just until the edges start to brown. You do not want to over-crisp the bars or they will be more like crumbly, crunchy granola. Remember, they will firm up a bit as they cool.
Chewy Peanut Butter Coconut Oat Granola Bars
vegan, makes 8-10 bars
2 cups rolled oats
2 tsp virgin coconut oil (melted)
1/2 cup coconut nectar (or sub brown rice syrup - they will be a tad sweeter)
pinch of pink salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp raw mesquite powder (optional)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp nut butter (peanut used) (room temperature)
2 tsp ground flax seeds
1 cup unsweetened coconut (toasted - see below)
Optional: 2 Tbsp mini chips (butterscotch chips used)
drizzle: 1 Tbsp mini chips + 1/2 tsp coconut oil
Protein boost: fold in 1-2 Tbsp of your favorite protein powder (unsweetened - no fillers) to boost the protein per bar.
Nutrition Facts: (per serving if 9 bars - no chips) calories: 190 fat: 8g protein: 4g fiber: 4g
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Heat a skillet over high heat. Add coconut and let sit in pan until browning begins. Then toss coconut a bit, browning further. Remove coconut when all edges are a bit browned. You may notice is has a strong nutty, popcorn-y aroma now!
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, spices, sweetener, salt, coconut oil, flax seeds, coconut and vanilla. Also fold in the optional mini chips. You could also add in chopped nuts, cacao nibs or chia seeds. Fold until evenly distributed and the oats soften a bit.
4. Grease a rimmed baking sheet with coconut oil or a healthy oil spray. Pour the oat mixture in the pan and press firmly together, Pack the oats in and allow a thick layer to form. About 3/4" in thickness. (Thinner bars will be crispier and less chewy. Thicker bars, more chewy.)
5. Bake bars at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until those edges really brown up. Pull from oven. Cool. I like to slice the bars when they are almost cooled.
6. If adding drizzle, place the bars in the freezer. Warm chips with oil to make a liquid. Pull bars - they should be hard and cold when pouring drizzle - drizzle warm mixture over top and it should firm up upon contact of the cool bars. Store bars in the fridge. These are delicious served chilled, at room temperature or crumbled into granola over top vegan yogurt, smoothies or pudding.