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Almost a year ago, I posted a granola bar recipe that's been pretty popular here at Bare Root.  It's typically one of my favorite fall/winter snacks and I've been itching to make it again recently.  Since it's getting to be a teeny bit like fall around here.  Yes, apparently 90F is fall.

Anyhow, recently Jorge and I made the decision to eliminate all grains from our diet and eat a truer Paleo diet then we have in the past.  We did a couple of Whole30s to get fired up about it and have worked to sustain the grain-free aspect since then.  So as not to deprive myself (as many think is required on a Paleo diet), I found a way to achieve the same chew, crunch, and flavors as the oat-based granola bar.

Running half the nuts, seeds, and fruits in this recipe through a food processor yields a chewy texture in the finished product.   And leaving the other half simply chopped up keeps the necessary crunch you look for in a granola bar.  Chia seeds add bulk and bind the bars together very well.  Though they still do best if stored in the refrigerator.  Pulling them out about 5-10 minutes before enjoying will put them at a more enjoyable temperature.

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Paleo Gingerbread Granola Bar

Yields:  10 bars or 20 smaller squares

1/4 c. raw honey

2 T. blackstrap molasses

3 T. grass-fed butter or virgin coconut oil

2 t. vanilla extract

2 t. ground cinnamon

1 t. ground ginger

1/4 t. ground cloves

1/2 t. sea salt

1 c. almonds, chopped

1 c. walnuts or pecans, chopped

1 c. pepitas

1 c. golden raisins (unsweetened, if possible)

2/3 c. dried cranberries, chopped (unsweetened, if possible)

1/2 c. dried apricots, chopped (unsweetened, if possible)

1/4 c. chia seeds

Directions

Preheat oven to 275F.   Line an 8x8" baking pan with 2 pieces of parchment facing opposite directions.

Combine honey, molasses, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and sea salt in a medium saucepan.  Heat over medium until ingredients are just melted and the mixture is smooth.  Remove from heat and set aside.

READ CAREFULLY.  Combine half of the following in a large food processor:  almonds, walnuts, pepitas, raisins, cranberries, and apricots.  Mix until finely ground and sticky.  The mixture should hold together when pinched between two fingers.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining half of the almonds, walnuts, pepitas, raisins, cranberries, and apricots.  Add in the sticky mixture from the food processor.  Stir together with reserved honey mixture and 1/4 c. chia seeds.

Pour into the lined 8x8" baking sheet and press into an even layer.  Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the visible nuts and seeds are golden brown.  Remove and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

Cool to room temperature.  Move to the refrigerator for 4+ hours before removing from the pan to slice into desired shape.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. 

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