Everyone that knows me knows I have a sweet tooth. Everyone that knows me knows that breakfast is my favorite meal. I have never been a cold cereal fan. Pancakes? Yum. French toast? Yes, please. Danishes or donuts, even better!
I'd love to eat cookies for breakfast, but since I am an adult I know I should show more restraint. Therefore, I searched cookbooks and the internet for a breakfast cookie recipe. While I found a few (one even contained quinoa), I zeroed in on a granola bar recipe that was both sweet (brown sugar, coconut and cranberries) and healthy (oatmeal and flaxseed). The best part is that they are very simple to make, and if you are not a coconut fan, you can omit it without compromising the taste. Add chopped almonds if you wish. The canola oil and corn syrup will bind all the dry ingredients together. This recipe is a great snack for kids and would make a special lunchbox treat!
Vegan Cranberry Granola Bars
2 1/2 cups rolled oats (I use quick-cooking oats)
1 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal (e.g. Rice Krispies)
1/2 cup almond meal (Trader Joe's carries this)
1/2 cup flaxseed meal (I use Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup dried cranberries
Line a 9×9″ square baking pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine oats, cereal, almond meal, ground flaxseed and coconut.
In a small saucepan, combine corn syrup, brown sugar and oil. Bring to a boil, whisking to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and salt. Pour into dry mixture and stir until dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Stir in dried cranberries.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and press down firmly into an even layer. Let stand until cool and set.
Cut into 16-20 bars with a sharp knife. Store in an airtight container
I individually wrap mine in unbleached parchment paper for transport, as they are a bit sticky. The key is to press the mixture firmly in the pan so they don't crumble when you attempt to get them out of the pan.
Ground flaxseeds are a great source of fiber and good for your heart. I had a handful of vegan chocolate chunks left over from another baking project and added these. Bad idea to add it to the mix when the ingredients from the saucepan are still warm! Tasted great just the same. These sweet vegan treats are better than a candy bar, and better for you than cookies for breakfast.