These bars hit ALL the contrasting pleasure zones: chewy, crunchy, salty, and sweet. I think these are better than any Snickers, Twix or Kit Kat, yet they are packed full of healthy seeds, oats, coconut and cranberries. Adding that layer of chocolate on top takes these bars to the next level. These are made fast and easy in the Thermomix.
I’ve been experimenting a lot with this sort of recipe. I’m on the eternal quest for “healthy” sweet treats. I need to put healthy in quotations because I mean I want sort of healthy treats. I’ve been disappointed with baking that goes too far the other way. I’d rather just not have dessert than have something that tastes of slightly sweet cardboard.
I’ve recently discovered raw buckwheat. It is very good for you, according to sister beauties and trendy socialites Helmsley and Helmsley. And what’s good enough for them is good enough for me. So I was happy to see it at my local grocery store. I first tried them out in some granola bars and now I’m hooked! It has a great crunch which is very much like puffed rice. It also grinds down easily to make a gluten-free flour for pancakes, cookies or muffins. Along with the buckwheat, I wanted to pack these bars with chewy oats and coconut and crunchy poppy and chia seeds.
The ‘glue’ that binds everything together is made by crushing more seedy goodness of sunflower seeds and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) together in the Thermomix.
If you are reading this post and wondering what a Thermomix is, it is a very powerful machine (12 functions in one kind of thing) that has become popular in Australia in recent years. People seem to either love or hate the idea of a Thermomix, and I’m not here to debate that subject but I don’t know anyone who doesn’t find it useful for pulverising the crap out of something in mere seconds. You don’t need to worry if you don’t have one. I would think any food processor or blender could also make this!
Now, there is a great choice you are going to have to make with this recipe! Decide if you want to enjoy these as a granola bar, as in for breakfast or snack, OR as more of a dessert. Because I discovered that kept raw, they make a lovely goo-ey and chewy sweet treat, but baked in the oven for 20 minutes they become slightly crisp around the edges, toasted granola bars! Both are delicious. I honestly can’t decide which version I like the best. I guess it comes down to which texture you like best. Hard choice to make!
Once the mixture is out of the oven (if you decide to bake), then simply melt some chocolate in the microwave with a tablespoon of coconut oil and drizzle all over the top. It sets within a few minutes. When I was taking this shot, I was so consumed with the beauty of the melted chocolate that I didn’t notice my baby had my brand new camera lens cap and was dipping it into the bowl!
I know there are a lot of photographs in this post. I’m sorry for that. But this is actually my first post since getting a professional camera for my birthday! I am in awe of the detail it captures in these bars. It really makes me want to eat one, right now. I simply could not bear to leave out any of these gorgeous snaps showing the chewy coconut and crunchy seeds in the layers, flecks of ruby cranberries and the thick, smooth layer of chocolate on top.
- 2 cups oats
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup buckwheat
- 2 tbs chia seeds
- 2 tbs poppy seeds
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- ½ cup honey
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup coconut oil, plus 1 tablespoon
- ¼ cup cranberries
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
- Place pumpkin seeds, pepitas and salt into Thermomix bowl. Process on speed 8 for 20 seconds. Scrape down bowl and repeat.
- Add the honey and coconut oil to the bowl. Blend together speed 4 for 15 seconds.
- Add the oats to the bowl and turn on speed 3 for 5 seconds to break them up slightly.
- Add the coconut, buckwheat, chia seeds, poppy seeds and cranberries to the bowl. Turn on reverse blade and speed 3 for 10 seconds to mix together.
- Line a 8' by 8' square pan with wax paper and pour the mixture in. Evenly distribute and press down.
- At this point, either cover with more wax paper and bake for 20 minutes at 160C/325F for OR keep raw and go straight to the chocolate step.
- Melt the chocolate and tbs of coconut oil for 1 minute on high in the microwave and then keep stirring until all melted.
- Drizzle the chocolate all over the bars. Let it firm in the fridge for 5-10 minutes before cutting into bars.