It begins with a big bowl. I like to get some use out of the vintage Pyrex I collect so I used this fancy bowl.
Then gather together all the yummy vegan ingredients.
1 and 1/2 cups rolled oats,
1 cup rice cereal
1/2 cup raw almond slices
1/4 cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 and 1/2 tablespoons chocolate chips (I use Trader Joe's Semi-Sweet ones which happen to be vegan)
1 pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup coconut nectar syrup (I found this at Sprouts; can use brown rice syrup instead)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Next, step back and look at the ridiculous effort you've made to attempt to take decent food photos, acknowledge it's not working, remove the cloth (it was already falling anyway), and go back to reality.
Don't forget your baking tools (Russian nesting doll measuring cups and spoons from Target).
This recipe is from the blog Oh She Glows, where the photography is on point - no table cloths haphazardly taped to walls. You can see a glimpse of the website on my iPad, which is always in the kitchen with me because I'm the type of cook that needs constant guidance, which is the opposiste of Chris with his mad scientist-style of cooking.
First dump all the dry ingredients together, except for the chocolate chips - they go in last.
Next, over medium-low heat, melt the coconut oil. Remove from heat and add the remaining wet ingredients into the hot saucepan and mix together. Then pour the wet gooey goodness into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix it all together.
Pour the mixture into a square pan (mine was 8x8) lined with parchment paper and spread it out evenly. Finally, spread the chocolate chips over the top and then lightly wet your hands (because this stuff is super sticky) and really firmly press the granola until it's tightly packed. Angela from Oh She Glows recommends using a pastry roller to "roll it out and pack it in even more" which is probably a good recommendation because I skipped this step and my granola bars were a bit crumbly (but still delicious).
Once you're satisfied with it's degree of packedness put the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes to set. That's right, in the freezer. These beauties are not baked! Then take it out and cut the granola into bars (I made 10). Individually wrap the bars so they retain their shape and then place them in the fridge because at room temperature they will fall apart. I just wrapped them in pieces of parchment paper that I cut, as shown above. These granola bars are tasty and crunchy and perfect when you need a boost of energy, maybe before a run or during the midday slump. Enjoy!
P.S - Mami, this recipe is for you since you request it. :)