Hello thereee. How do you feel about carrot in baked goods?
I feel pretty good about it. Especially when it’s a healthier thing because you can kind of pretend like you’re eating a piece of carrot cake, while not feeling too guilty about it being a meal for breakfast. (I mean, in my opinion cake for breakfast is of course acceptable in most situations, but hey…if you can have a healthy snack taste somewhat like carrot cake, why not go with it?!)
These little chewy granola bars happen to be born from my sister’s sudden juicing binge. She juiced 10 cups of carrots the other day, and had a ton of carrot pulp left over. I immediately thought of making regular carrot cake, but with it being cake week in my baking class in culinary school I was kind of over the crazy sweet cake thing.
I got my copy of Jessica’s (from How Sweet It Is) first cookbook Seriously Delish last week and saw a recipe in it for granola bars that I wanted to experiment with. Soooo, obv. time to not follow the recipe (a common occurrence with me) and innovate by queuing in the carrot fun.
Last week I made these Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffin Cups, so here I am again with another quick and easy breakfast option for hectic weeks where you need something to grab ‘n go. They’re jam packed with healthy flax, chia, and nuts to keep your breakfast balanced, but have a perfect sweetness that make them something you’ll savor while stuck in traffic on the way to work and/or class (ugh, my life 5 days a week).
Ingredients: <Adapted from Chewy Granola Bar Recipe in Seriously Delish> Yield: 12-16 bars
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup chopped pecans
3 tbsp pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/2 tsp coarse salt
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp honey (do all maple syrup if vegan)
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup grated carrot (or left over juiced pulp)
1/2 cup applesauce
Grease an 8×8 baking dish, and line it with parchment paper so that the sides are overhanging. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the first seven ingredients and whisk together until everything is incorporated and even.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt together the syrup, honey, vanilla and coconut oil. Add in the applesauce and grated carrot to the wet ingredients, and mix until combined. Pour over the dry ingredients, and mix together with a wooden spoon until everything is moistened and incorporated.
Pour into your prepared pan and press the mixture down with your fingertips until it is evenly spread throughout the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until well-browned and set. Let cool in the pan before removing and slicing. Store by wrapping each in plastic wrap, or laying them in a sealed tupperware with parchment between the layers.
It’s so nice to have a quick thing to grab in the morning on your way out the door. These little chewy granola bars are perfect for just that. Feel free to change up the mix-ins to your preference or what you have on hand. Crumble them over a bowl of yogurt with some fruit, slather them with jam or peanut butter for some quick protein, or just snag one to scarf down as is when you’re in a rush.
I always found actual Chewy bars (like the Quaker ones) to be sickenly sweet and avoided them <also because they often have raisins in them. ew.> I love a good soft and chewy granola bar that isn’t over-the-top-too-sweet, and these have that perfect balance. Plus they are reminiscent of one the best kinds of cake…so you really can’t go wrong.