These are based on a recipe by Emeril Lagasse that appeared in Martha Stewart Living. I adapted it to make it dairy and gluten free. I also replaced the honey with agave nectar – we only use honey raw and uncooked. And I decreased the amount of slivered almonds and made them smaller to avoid arousing the suspicions of my three year old.
These are super tasty. To me, they taste just like a commercial granola bar, only better. For some reason, I have run across a lot of granola bar recipes that are more like cake or bar cookies, but these are the real deal. I also love the use of almond butter, especially since some of us can’t do peanut butter.
Update: Because of my son’s peanut allergy, we also avoid nut butters due to the risk of cross-contamination. However, I found one brand of almond butter, Barney Butter, which is processed in a dedicated facility. I use Barney Butter for this recipe. I now leave the slivered almonds out of this recipe, since I cannot find a source for almonds processed in a peanut free facility.
Emeril’s Nutty Granola Bars, adapted to be gluten and dairy free
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, original recipe here
¾ cup agave nectar
2 Tbsp Earth Balance spread
3 cups certified gluten free rolled oats
2/3 cup slivered almonds, roughly chopped (optional)
¼ tsp sea salt
1 cup raisins
1/3 cup creamy almond butter
¼ cup light brown sugar
1. First, you need to make the “granola” and then turn it into bars. I hate extra steps in cooking, so I thought long and hard about whether or not this was necessary, and it really is. Unlike some granola bar recipes, the toasting of the granola is the only time they spend in the oven – you don’t bake them after adding all the other ingredients. So, suck it up and make the granola first. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a small saucepan, combine ¼ cup of the agave nectar and Earth Balance spread. Cook on low until margarine melts.
3. In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds and salt. Drizzle the cooked agave mixture over the oats and stir to combine. This is a great step to let the kiddos help with. Spread on a baking sheet that you have coated lightly with non-stick spray. Bake 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool completely.
4. Wipe out the large bowl that you mixed your granola in. Return the cooked granola to the large bowl and add raisins.
5. In a saucepan combine ½ cup agave, almond butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Cook about 10 minutes. It will boil and the sugar will dissolve. Watch this closely. Don’t go change a diaper during this step. Just sayin’. I had to do it twice.
6. Drizzle the agave/sugar mixture over the granola and raisin mixture and mix well. Transfer to a greased 8×8 pan and use your hands to press to an even width. Refrigerate until firm. Serve at room temperature.