Nateur Cooking with Heidi Richter: Vegan Salted Caramel Granola Bars (gluten-free)
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. It’s still possible to indulge in your favorite foods, while nourishing your body at the same time. Here we share clean versions of delicious recipes that will leave you feeling and looking incredible and not to mention, insanely satisfied!
Name: Heidi Richter
Job description: Recipe developer, food photographer and writer.
Favorite dish to serve at a dinner party: My green onion and herb focaccia or garlic fougasse bread- basically any bread that can be torn and shared around the table with everyone.
Favorite skin food ingredient and why: Definitely water and omega 3 essential fatty acid. I feel both are essential in maintaining healthy, glowing skin.
Top three Instagram accounts for inspiration:
Must-have cookbook: Joshua McFadden’s Six Seasons. It’s essential for anyone who wants inspiration to eat seasonally with a high variety of vegetables.
Top three kitchen supplies you can’t live without: Vitamix blender, Le Creuset Dutch oven, and Chemex coffee maker.
Three things you always keep in your refrigerator: Kale, hummus, and lemons. I consume these three foods on an almost daily basis.
Favorite online shop for kitchen supplies and / or specialty food items: I don’t tend to buy many kitchen supplies or foods online, however, I do enjoy shopping in person at my local Pomme Natural Market or Maison Cookware + Bakeware. However, I do enjoy browsing online at Williams Sonoma or Crate & Barrelfrom time to time.
Go-to quick, healthy meal: Kale or parsley pesto smothered onto chickpea pasta. I make a big batch and keep it in the fridge. It’s also great on toast and makes eating greens really easy and delicious.
Favorite healthy treat: Hu’s Simple Dark Chocolate or Prana Organic’s Kilimanjaro Chocolate Mix.
Skincare mantra: I like to keep it simple and as natural as possible.
Eat this recipe for: A decadent yet healthy snack that is naturally sweet, salty and contains omega 3 fatty acid.
Recipe: Vegan Salted Caramel Granola Bars (gluten-free)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Refrigeration time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Makes 15 bars
Calories 242 kcal
Author Heidi Richter
1 ½ cups rolled oats (certified gluten-free)
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup ground flaxseed
½ cup unsalted chopped peanuts or almonds or cashews
¾ cup sunflower seeds
12 soft medjool dates, pits and stem removed (see notes)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup natural smooth almond butter or smooth nut butter of choice
¼ cup melted coconut oil
¼ cup semi sweet dark chocolate chips
½ teaspoon coconut oil
1-2 teaspoon flaked sea salt
Line an 8x8" baking pan with parchment paper, leaving enough to overhang two sides (this makes it easy to remove the bars once set).
In a large bowl, combine the oats, sea salt, ground flaxseed, peanuts and sunflower seeds. Set aside. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the pitted medjool dates, vanilla, lemon juice, almond butter, and melted coconut oil. Process until the mixture is smooth and even (you may need to stop the machine and scrape down the sides a few times).
Scoop the date caramel into the oat mixture and stir until all the ingredients are evenly coated. If the mixture becomes too difficult to stir, use clean hands to incorporate everything.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish and evenly spread it around the bottom. Then, flatten and smooth the top of the mixture with the palm of your hand, or use the flat bottom of a measuring cup. Place in the fridge for 2 hours to set up.
Remove from the fridge, then carefully run a knife along the edges of the pan. Using the parchment overhang, pull up to release the square from the pan. Carefully cut into 15 equal portions.
Prepare the chocolate drizzle: In a small bowl, combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil. Melt in the microwave (about 45 seconds) or over a double boiler (about 3 minutes). Stir until smooth, then drizzle over the squares with a small spoon. Sprinkle flaked sea salt over the top and pop back in the fridge for 1 hour to allow the chocolate to harden before serving.
Notes: If your medjool dates aren't soft and sticky, soak them in hot water for about 5 minutes before using. These bars are best stored in the fridge to maintain their shape and chewy texture. Be sure to source certified gluten-free ingredients if there is an allergy or gluten intolerance. This recipe is not school safe.