Hazelnut Mocha Granola Bars

It takes a lot of trial and error to find the perfect homemade granola bar recipe. I’ve baked my share of lackluster bars, and it’s enough to make one give up on the whole homemade granola bar idea all together… until I tried a glo bar from Oh She Glows. Not only are ALL of Angela’s granola bars scrumptious, but they’re a great source of inspiration for creating your own healthy, drool worthy bars. And that’s exactly where I got my inspiration for these Hazelnut Mocha Granola Bars.

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These bars are not only to die for, but they’re super easy to make in your own kitchen, and their made from REAL whole food ingredients – the perfect recipe trifecta. These bars have just the right ratio of crunch to softness, while still sticking together, and a beautiful combination of chocolaty sweetness and sublet coffee flavour.

Almond butter is both delish and nutritious, but I’ve also used smooth organic peanut butter in a pinch, and these bars still turned out great. I tend to use cold-water decaf coffee, but if you’re planning on making these for your kiddos you can omit the coffee altogether. I also like to use good quality organic chocolate chips, but you can alternatively use dairy-free/vegan chocolate chips or cocoa nibs.

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I make these bars at least once a month, but they never seem to last long, as my hubby loves them just as much as I do! They’re perfect to grab before leaving the house on a busy morning (with a vanilla matcha tea latte), packed up in your lunch box for a tasty afternoon snack, or thrown into your backpack to fuel you up on a weekend hike or camping trip.

The nutrition profile of these bars is pretty good. You have whole nuts and nut butter providing plenty of protein and good fats, granola to help keep you full and fueled, raw cacao for a punch of antioxidant chocolatly love, and coconut flakes for a bit of chewy natural sweetness.

These bars are best kept in the fridge but do just fine in a lunch box or backpack for a few hours. They also keep wonderfully in a cooler while camping. All in all, these bars are pretty much amazing for any granola bar occasion, and then some!

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Hazelnut Mocha Granola Bars
Recipe inspired by Oh She Glows Everyday

1/3 Cup raw hazelnuts
1 Tbsp. coffee beans, finely ground into a powder (I use decaf)
1 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
1 1/3 Cups gluten-free rolled oats
1 Cup crispy rice cereal
1/3 Cup chocolate chips
¼ Cup unsweetened shredded coconut
¼ Tsp. sea salt
½ Cup brown rice syrup
¼ Cup almond butter (or other nut butter of choice)
2 Tsp. coconut oil
1 Tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 F and line a 9-inch pan with parchment paper.

Toast hazelnuts in the oven on a cookie sheet for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly golden.

In a large bowl, combine the coffee, cacao powder, oats, rice cereal, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, and salt.

In a small pot on medium-low heat, add the brown rice syrup, almond butter, and coconut oil. Stir the mixture and bring to a low simmer being careful not to burn it. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Once your hazelnuts are toasted, let them cool slightly. Transfer them to a clean dish towel, fold half of the towel over top of the nuts and rub the towel back and forth over the nuts removing the skin (don’t worry if you can’t get all of the skin off). Discard the skin and move the nuts to a cutting board, roughly chop into small pieces.

Add the toasted hazelnuts to your bowl of dry ingredients and toss. Add the hot rice syrup/nut butter mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until the dry mixture is fully coated. I like to wet my hands slightly and get right in there with my fingers to mix everything together, it tends to works better than a spoon and ensures there aren’t any dry patches.

Scoop the mixture into your prepared baking pan and spread it out to all four corners of the pan. Press down firmly to make sure your granola is compacted, this will help your bars stick together.

Place the pan in the fridge for 30 mins to 1 hour before removing the bars from the pan to slice. I use a heavy duty kitchen knife to cut the square in the middle and then into 6 long rectangles per-side. You will have 12 bars total.

Store in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze them to keep fresh for up to 1 month (if they last that long)! Take the bars out of the fridge for 10 or 15 minutes before eating for the best flavour and texture. To defrost, transfer from the freezer to the fridge or countertop.

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