Coconut Cranberry Oat Bars

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Coconut seems to be one of those things that people either love or hate. Though I can understand why some dislike coconut, I happen to fall into the category of loving it. Over the past year or so I’ve grown to love all things coconut: shredded coconut, coconut milk, coconut oil – you name it. The only time I dislike the flavor of coconut is in coconut rum, bleh. Keep that stuff away from me.

Since making those Chewy Biscoff Granola Bars earlier this year, I have become obsessed with homemade granola bars. I’ve been making them 2-3 times a month, trying out all sorts of recipes. Coconut oil has become a staple in my granola bar-making process. It makes the bars wonderfully chewy, with a small hint of coconut. I briefly wrote about the benefits of coconut oil in a post back in February, but if you’re interested in learning more, click here!

Though I adored the Biscoff granola bars, and also using peanut butter or other nut butters in my granola bars, I started searching for a slightly lighter recipe with less sugar and less fat. I came across these Oatmeal Bars on Collecting Memories and knew I had found the one. Her photos of the bars are far more attractive than mine, but oh well. Hopefully mine still tasted just as good!

This recipe combines creamy coconut oil and honey with ground oats, almonds, and dried cranberries. They are no-bake so they’re a cinch to throw together and are wonderfully chewy. I added some chia seeds for a bit of crunch and for their endless health benefits, and threw in some brown sugar and dried cherries as well. The flavor of the honey really comes through and is perfectly balanced by the tartness of the cranberries.

Coconut Cranberry Oat Bars
adapted from Chewy No-Bake Oatmeal Bars on Collecting Memories

Ingredients:
makes 12 bars

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp sliced or slivered almonds (whole almonds will work too – use about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 –  1/3 cup dried cranberries and/or dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes, sweetened or unsweetened
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil or butter
  • 2 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, combine oats and almonds. Pulse until they they break down into small pieces, about 15-20 seconds. You may also throw in the dried cranberries if you want them broken up into small pieces, or you can leave them whole.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine coconut oil, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Heat over a low heat until melted, stirring. Pour into a medium mixing bowl along with the crushed oats, almonds, dried cranberries, and coconut flakes.
  3. Stir the mixture together until all of the ingredients are well-incorporated and it forms a large, sticky mass. Press mixture into an 8×8″ baking pan lined with wax paper. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until bars have hardened before cutting. Store in the fridge for up to 2 or 3 weeks and enjoy 🙂

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