Summer calls for lots of portable snacks as you make your way from adventure to adventure, or when you just can’t be bothered to come inside. Granola bars are traditionally an easy take along snack that everyone loves. Sure it’s easy to buy a box or two at the grocery store and there are even some decent healthy brands available, but it’s actually really easy to make your own at home, too. These nut-free Tahini Dark Chocolate Vegan Granola Bars are the perfect anytime snack and would also be the perfect lunchbox treat.
Tahini – it’s not just for hummus! It the perfect replacement for nut butters if you have a nut allergy or if you can’t send nut products with your kids to school. It’s made from ground sesame seeds and is high in potassium, iron, calcium, protein, vitamin E and lots of B vitamins. Tahini, with its creamy, earthy, nutty flavor, is just as delicious in sweet dishes as it is in savory ones. And trust me, t’s the perfect pair with dark chocolate!!
I made two versions of these. The first one had dark chocolate chunks in the mixture. The second one (pictured here) had a dark chocolate drizzle over the top. Personally, I liked the second version better because the tahini flavor was more pronounced, but both ways were excellent and I’ll give directions for both below.
We had two batches of these vegan granola bars in the house and they still didn’t last very long. They kids were all over these! They thought they were so good they wanted them as their dessert after pretty much every meal. I started cutting the long bars into smaller squares, so they could essentially have one piece at every meal and still only have the equivalent of one bar during the day. While these bars have some incredibly healthy ingredients (oats, flax, chia, sesame seeds) they do contain a decent amount of sweetener, too. It’s probably healthier than most granola bars at your local grocery store, but I still recommend limiting how many of these you consume at one sitting. 🙂
These hearty granola bars are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. If you like a really crispy bar, you can bake them for a bit longer…just watch them so they don’t burn.
I can see these bars making an appearance in my son’s lunchbox this year. They contain plenty of protein and fiber, so you can even send one of these as the main lunchbox component. Round out the lunch with some fruit and veggies and you’re done!
- 2 cups gluten free oats
- 1 cup brown rice cereal (I like Erewhon)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ cup flaxmeal
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup tahini
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ⅔ cup brown rice syrup
- 1-2 tbsp non-dairy milk (I used soy), as needed
- ¼ cup non-dairy dark chocolate chunks, optional
- ½ cup nondairy dark chocolate chip/chunks
- 1-3 tbsp non-dairy milk
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper (make sure its long enough for the ends to overhang) and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown rice cereal, cinnamon, flax meal, chia, sunflower seeds and salt. Mix well.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together the tahini, vanilla and brown rice syrup. If mixture is really thick, add 1 tbsp of non-dairy milk at a time and whisk again until the mixture is pourable.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients while continually stirring to mix well. Add the chocolate chips, if using, and mix well.
- Once everything is incorporated well, pour the mixture 9x13 pan lined with parchment paper. Press the mixture down into an even layer with your fingers. It helps to slightly wet your hands before pressing.
- Bake for 25-28 minutes until golden on the top and starting to firm up. The bars will continue to firm up as they cool.
- Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes until you can lift the bars out easily by holding onto the ends of the parchment paper. Continue to cool the bars on the parchment paper on a wire rack for another 10 minutes. Cut into bars or squares and continue to cool if they still feel soft.
- Once the bars are completely cool, whisk the dark chocolate chunks in a double boiler until melted. Add 1 tbsp of non dairy milk at a time until desired consistency is reached. You want it thin enough to drizzle, but thick enough to set up on the bars. Drizzle onto the bars.