Canadian summers are the best! Long days and warm weather, combined with a crazy amount of activity options, make for endless fun. No matter what kind of adventure you’re planning, it’s important to be prepared. These easy 30 minute Vegan Granola Bars are perfect to throw in your backpack just in case your adventure takes a bit longer than expected. Requiring just one bowl and 30 minutes of time, your Vegan Granola Bars will be done in less time than it takes to find the granola bar aisle in the grocery store. Full of pantry staples like oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and chocolate chips, they’ll keep you going for the extra mile.
While I was living in England, I got into the habit of making granola bars (or flapjacks, as the British call them) almost every Sunday. It started when I was reading through the ingredient list on a pack of granola bars in Aldi. The bars were full of sugar and hydrogenated oil. I knew I could make much healthier granola bars at home. In addition to being better for me, they would cost less and involve a lot less packaging.
I think I may have Googled a granola bar recipe the first time I made them, but after that it was completely by feel. I didn’t even use measuring cups (because there are none to be found in the UK) or bother to measure things using their scales. Each week they turned out differently, and each week I tweaked the combination of ingredients.
I found whole wheat flour was a necessary addition to bind my granola bars together and stop them from crumbling. Gluten free flour could easily be substituted because it’s not important for the bars to rise. I also started to use a combination of brown sugar and honey. Initially it was to help meter out my honey supplies, but then I realized the brown sugar improved the depth of flavour. For the bars to be completely vegan, you’ll need to use agave nectar, coconut nectar, or maple syrup in place of honey.
I learnt the hard way that it’s essential to let the bars cool completely before trying to slice them. Slice them too early and you’ll end up with a disappointing, crumbly mess (still tasty though). To be extra cautious chill the granola bars in the fridge. They’ll cut into perfect squares just like in my pictures. I like to portion my granola bars after cutting them, storing containers of 2 in the freezer. This way they’re easy to grab for lunches or adventures.
Heading into the Canada Day long weekend, I know a lot of people will be planning to get out and enjoy the outdoors. These granola bars take less than 30 minutes to prepare and will give you some extra sustenance when you need it. Full of yummy things like dried cranberries and chocolate chips, you’ll thank me when your stomach is grumbling at the top of that peak. If I’m being honest, my hikes usually take longer than expected and it’s always a relief to have extra snacks and water in my bag.
If you’re planning a more urban Canada Day celebration, it doesn’t hurt to throw a couple granola bars in your bag either. Sometimes it’s difficult to find food amongst the crowds, healthy options are sparse, and food truck line-ups can stretch for miles. Munch on a granola bar or two and let those hanger pangs fade away.
I hope you have a safe weekend wherever you are in the world! Enjoy these easy 30 minute Vegan Granola Bars wherever your adventures take you. I can honestly say they’re my favourite granola bar variation to date! Let me know what adventures you take them on in the comments below.
30 Minute Vegan Granola Bars
- 1 1/2 cups oats
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp wheat germ
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds or walnuts
- 1/4 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries or raisins
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup cooking oil
- 1/3 cup agave or coconut nectar (or honey, if not vegan), warmed until runny
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/3 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Stir together all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in centre and add in wet ingredients. Stir everything together until well combined.
- Grease a 9"x9" or 7"x11" pan with a bit of oil. Empty granola bar mixture into the pan. Spread and pat mixture down. Wet hands and press down so that the granola bars are firmly stuck together.
- Bake granola bars in the centre of the oven for 16-18 minutes, until the top is a golden brown colour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before slicing.