Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chickpea and Oat Granola Bars

1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tsp cinnamon, divided
1 tsp honey
1 tbs ground flax seed
¼ cup of warm water
1 1/2 cup rolled oats (I used gluten-free)
1 cup brown rice krispies (or any whole grain cereal )
1 cup dried fruit (I used Turkish apricots (chopped) and raisins)
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
3 tbs olive oil (all I had, but canola or any other healthy oil should be fine)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
*Mix the ground flax seed with 1/4 cup warm water, set aside to thicken (this a binding agent instead of using eggs).

Toss the chickpeas in the in 1 tsp of the cinnamon and honey.  Bake for 10 minutes, stir around in the pan, then back for 10 more minutes.  Add the oats to the pan and bake for 6 more minutes, stirring the oats halfway through.
In a bowl, stir together the peanut butter, honey, olive oil, and flax paste.
In a bigger bowl, combine the cooked chickpeas/oat mixture, cereal, dried fruit, and remaining tsp of cinnamon.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir to combine.

Press the mixture into a greased pan 8×8 if you have it.  Press and pack in the mixture as hard as you can with a rubber spatula.  Refrigerate until firm and then cut into 24 bars.  Yummy!!!

* Flax paste is a great way to substitute eggs in baking.  Eggs are usually the binding agent that keeps “it” all together.  Our family tries to eat vegetarian as much as we can.  We do have meat occasionally, but we find that we feel so much better going lighter on the meats.  Moreover, I have been discovering that wheat gluten doesn’t sit well in my tummy—more of an IBS thing than Celiac’s Disease and my husband has severe reactions to his body (won’t go into detail) when he eats red meat.  As you can see, we are limited, but there are ways to get around all this!  Just research and experiment different recipes out there.  I has been so much fun discovering different ways of cooking and using unique ingredients.  This recipe above comes from one of my new favorite blogs:  I tweaked it a little, of course!  I love brown rice syrup—it has a lower GI than honey and it is YUMMY!  Their recipe called for Sucanat—still sugar, no matter what you call it, so I used honey instead.  As always—everything was organic! :) 

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