Cranberry and Raisin Granola Protein Bar

Sometimes we’re all in a hurry and need something quick to eat and being vegan can, on occasion, really limit you when you’re on the go (I can’t tell you how many time’s I’ve had to have a packet of crisps or peanut brittle for my lunch while out at work, simple because there was nothing else to choose from). Though things are getting better out there, it’s always good to have something in your bag for when you need a quick energy boost. I’ve created this recipe with that in mind. It’s a cereal bar with added pea protein. You can make them in the evening after work, or at the weekend if you prefer, then take them into work with you. The recipe makes 20 bars, so there’s plenty to last you for the whole working week. It is better to toast the oats first, so that the bars don’t come out too soft. I also heat the dates up with the syrup mixture, which softens them and helps them blend better.

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Prep time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 20-25 minutes. Chilling time: 2 hours.
Makes 20 bars.

Gluten Free
200g porridge oats (gluten free variety)
50ml groundnut, or other flavourless oil
Pinch sea salt
100g pitted dates
3 tbsp coconut oil
4 tbsp coconut nectar
75ml maple syrup
50g pea protein
50g toasted almond flakes
50g dried cranberries
50g raisins
You will also need a deep-sided baking tray approximately 30cm long and about 20cm wide.

Preheat the oven to gas 4/180C/350F.
First toast the porridge oats by putting them into a mixing bowl with the oil and the salt. Mix thoroughly, then pour out onto your baking tray. Cook in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes, then give them a bit of a stir and cook them for another 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
While they are cooking, heat the dates, coconut oil, coconut nectar and maple syrup in a saucepan, until bubbling slightly and the dates have softened (about 3 minutes). Let it cool a little, then pour the mixture into a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour the oats back into your mixing bowl and add the pea protein, almonds, cranberries and raisins and mix together. Scrape in the blended date mixture and stir until completely combined.
Line the baking tray with greaseproof paper, making sure it covers the sides, then spoon the oat mixture into the tray. Press down firmly with your hands until it is tight into the corners and flat. It should be just under 1cm thick all around. Put it in the fridge to chill for 2 hours.
To serve, turn the tray upside down onto a chopping board and cut into 20 bars.

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