Gluten-Free Vegan Granola Bars

I’ve been experimenting over the past several months with gluten-free baking, and it’s more complicated than I anticipated.  The flours are all very particular and yield quite different results. Because I’m stubborn, I keep trying to create my own recipes instead of adapting from others.  There have been many failed muffin attempts.  It’s very frustrating, but I do like a challenge.

One recipe that I’ve successfully adapted is my vegan granola bars. Gluten-free oats are technically the same as regular oats, but they’re processed in a gluten-free facility.  These gluten-free vegan granola bars are delicious and if you’re trying to follow a gluten-free diet, they’re a great snack or breakfast option.  I swapped out a lot of other ingredients in this version and added some fun extras.  The figs and dates are chewy and sweet.  The cacao nibs add a touch of chocolate flavor and crunch.  You can easily swap out the Earth Balance for regular butter if you just want a vegetarian bar.  Enjoy!

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It has been awhile since I’ve gone nuts over a recipe.  These bars are AMAZING.  I had some dried apricots in the pantry and was trying to decide what to do with them when I came across a unique looking recipe for baked apricot bars, courtesy of David Lebowitz and Baked.  I think I died and went to heaven when I first took a bite.  These bars have a layer of rosemary shortbread on the bottom, brandy-infused apricot paste in the center, and a brown sugar pecan crumble on top.  Put all your other recipes aside and make these right now!

I made a few modifications to the original recipe.  I didn’t have California dried apricots, which are less sweet, so I added 1 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice to the apricot filling.  I made a few other minor changes to the filling and crumb topping.  The results were stunning.

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