Interestingly, there’s no butter or oil in this recipe and no refined sugar either. Everything is bound together by a mix of pureed dates, maple syrup, and honey. I made one substitution because as I began measuring ingredients, I discovered I didn’t have millet although I was sure I did. I used amaranth instead. So, oats, amaranth, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and I used black sesame seeds, cinnamon, and salt were combined. Toasted pecans and almonds were coarsely chopped in the food processor and added to the oat mixture. Pitted dates were then pulsed to form a paste, and maple syrup, honey, and vanilla were added and pulsed. The date puree was added to the oats with genmaicha tea leaves, and the mixture was stirred until well-combined. The granola was baked until brown at the edges and then allowed to cool. I found it easier to cut bars after chilling the pan for a few hours.
The bars had a great mix of crunchy seeds and nuts and chewiness from the date puree. The flavor from the tea was very subtle, but I liked having a little green tea caffeine in each bar. Now that I’m looking back at the breakfast chapter, I’m marking the pages for Avocado-Cheese Arepas and Mustard Greens, Cheddar, and Farm Egg Breakfast Pizza. I won’t be running out of great recipe ideas for vegetables any time soon.
Genmaicha Granola Bars
Recipe reprinted with publisher's permission from Feast.
Many granola bars masquerade as health food when, in fact, dozens of them are anything but, laced with sugar and chocolate chips. The granola bar of your dreams, though, can be chock-full of fast energy and lasting nutrition like this one—loaded with nuts and seeds, like almonds and sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame seeds. Millet adds incredible crunch, and naturally sweet dates and maple syrup hold it all together. Genmaicha—green tea leaves with roasted brown rice—adds depth, a malty richness, and a caffeine boost. If you can’t find genmaicha or simply don’t do caffeine, skip it. These granola bars will win fans far and wide either way.
Makes 8 TO 10 Bars
2 cups/170 g old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup/60 g millet
1/3 cup/30 g raw sunflower seeds
2 tbsp raw unseasoned pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 cup/50 g toasted pecans
1/3 cup/50 g toasted skin-on almonds
Packed 1 cup/170 g pitted Medjool dates
1/3 cup/75 ml Grade B maple syrup, plus more as needed
1/4 cup/60 ml honey or brown rice syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp genmaicha tea leaves
Preheat the oven to 325°F/165°C/gas 3. Line an 8-in/20-cm square baking pan with parchment paper so that there are overlapping flaps.
Stir together the oats, millet, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.
Pulse the pecans and almonds in a food processor until coarsely chopped (it’s okay if some nuts are coarsely ground and others a little powdery). Stir into the oat mixture.
Pulse the dates in a food processor until a thick paste forms. Add the maple syrup, honey, and vanilla and pulse until a puree forms. Scrape out the puree with a rubber spatula and stir into the oat mixture.
Add the genmaicha tea leaves and continue stirring (your clean hands work best) until the oats and nuts are sticky and coated with the puree. If the mixture doesn’t clump together easily, add up to 1 tbsp of maple syrup.
Transfer the granola to the prepared baking pan and press into a smooth, even layer. Bake until just starting to brown around the edges, about 25 minutes. Transfer to the counter to cool slightly in the baking pan, about 15 minutes. Grab the flaps of parchment paper, lift out the whole batch, and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into eight to ten bars while still warm. Let them cool completely and serve at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
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