So… my kitchen time has been limited lately. Either I just didn’t feel like cooking, I had no-one to cook for because no one felt like eating, or we were so busy playing catch up that we just weren’t home to eat…. Sometimes life is like that. Seriously you guys, we ran out of cream for coffee last week and I drank mine black for three days. Three days! Black coffee.
- If you don’t have oat flour on hand you can easily make some by grinding rolled oats in a blender until a fine powder. My Blendtec does this in seconds, a conventional blender may take a bit longer but still relatively quickly and economically. If you are not worried about gluten-free you can easily use all-purpose or whole wheat flour.
- I used a mixture of coconut oil and avocado oil. I like avocado oil for its neutral flavour. A light olive oil or any neutral tasting oil will work. The coconut oil stands in for the butter typically found in these recipes. You can use butter if you are not vegan, or if want to keep these vegan go with a vegan butter substitute like Earth Balance if coconut oil is not your thing. Personally I have a deep love for all things coconutty. Whatever you choose you will need some solid fat to get that little bit of crunchy that is just so good about these bars.
- Ground flaxseed and almond butter help hold everything together.
- I used both walnuts and almonds in this recipe. Feel free to mix it up and try your favourites. You can change-up the dried fruit too – cranberries, chopped apricots, raisins (who does that!), or what have you
- For more healthy snack ideas and recipes using nuts check out Nuts.com
- Preheat oven to 350. Line an 9 x 9 baking pan with parchment paper.
- Stir together oats, flour, sugar, flax, hemp, cherries and nuts and salt.
- In a separate bowl whisk together, lemon zest, oils, almond butter and syrup. Whisk until smooth, then add to dry ingredients. Stir and toss until well combined and all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Dump mixture into the prepared pan and press firmly in an even layer. Use the back of a measuring cup to help push firmly and make it even all the way around.
- Bake 30-40 minutes. Bars will be firm and brown around the edges. Cook in the pan then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cutting into bars.
- Using the parchment paper to lift them bars out of the pan. Cut the entire batch in half cross-wse, then cut each half into 8 skinny bars. For a total of 16.
- For long term storage, wrap individual bars in foil or plastic wrap and keep in the freezer until ready to go.