Do you also love those delicious granola bars that you can get at the super market? You know, the ones that have that delicious yoghurt coating, and are filled with dried fruits, and oats, and of coarse loads of sugar? Yeahh, I love those as well!! They are delicious but not very healthy, which is why I decided to try and make them myself!
Coming up with the right ratio of ingredients for the bars themselves wasn’t very difficult, but the yoghurt coating proved to be quite hard to get right. On my first try the yoghurt coating did not want to dry at all, whereas on the second try it was drying properly, but the taste just wasn’t there. Luckily I found this recipe from The Kitchn for yoghurt coated cranberries, and a slightly adjusted version of that yoghurt coating worked perfectly for this recipe.
Recently I’ve really been feeling like cooking with my dehydrator again, and this recipe definitely works best if you have one. If you don’t however, don’t worry! I also tried to make this in my shitty oven (read more about my shitty oven adventures here haha), and combined with some extra attention and a fan, it works just fine too! So please don’t let your lack of having a dehydrator stop you from making this recipe, because it is sooo worth it!
- 200 gram fresh blueberries or 100 gram dried blueberries
- 250 gram unsweetened muesli
- 20 gram unsweetened grated coconut
- 1 tablespoon (12 gram) chia seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- pinch of vanilla powder
- 120 ml (about 160 gram) agave syrup
- 120 ml (about 150 gram) almond butter
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2 teaspoon agar agar powder
- 70 gram vegan almond yoghurt
- 250 gram powdered sugar (you can also use powdered coconut sugar if you can find it)
- Start with drying the blueberries if you’re using fresh ones. Spread out the blueberries in a single layer on a baking sheet. If you’re using a dehydrator for this, put them in the dehydrator on low for about 2 hours, but adjust the time accordingly if the blueberries are very small (shorter) or very large (longer). If you’re using a conventional oven, I would advise you to bake the blueberries for 20 minutes on the lowest setting, and then open the oven door for 20 minutes while placing a fan in front of the door (yes I know, this is very DIY haha – student life!!). Alternatively, if you have a fancy convection oven, chances are you can turn on the oven while having the door open just a bit, for example by placing a solid wooden spoon between the door and the oven. This will allow the hot air to escape while creating a dry atmosphere that will dehydrate your blueberries. For these last two methods, you will really have to check your blueberries every 20 minutes or so, to check how they are doing. They are done when the blueberries look like raisins, but are maybe a little more plump. When I dried my blueberries in my conventional oven, it took me about 4 hours. However, you can of course also just buy dried blueberries! It will save you quite some time haha.
- To make the granola bar mixture, combine the unsweetened muesli, grated coconut, chia seeds, salt and vanilla powder in a large bowl and mix until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Then add the agave syrup and almond butter. If your almond butter and agave are very solid, you can heat them in a small sauce pan or au bain marie to make it easier to mix it.
- Once all the ingredients are combined and distributed evenly throughout the mixture, add the dried blueberries and gently stir until evenly distributed without squishing the fragile blueberries.
- Line a brownie pan or any other square, flat pan you have with some baking paper, and press the mixture into the pan. You can use the back of a spoon or measuring cup to make the bars even firmer. Place in the freezer.
- Make the almond yoghurt coating by mixing the (cold) water with the agar agar powder, and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- In the mean time, do the almond yoghurt in a different, microwave save bowl, and heat in the microwave in short 10 second intervals to heat the yoghurt throughout. Since we are using plant based yoghurt, you don’t have to be scared of curdling it. When the yoghurt is really hot, pour it into the bowl with the agar agar water, and mix immediately. For the agar agar to work, it has to be heated throughout. If you feel like the yoghurt mixture has cooled off too much, you can microwave it for another 10 second interval.
- Add the powdered sugar to the yoghurt mixture and whisk until there are no more sugar lumps. You should have a thick but pourable coating now.
- Take the granola bars out of the freezer and cut them into 16 pieces. Place them on a dripping rack, and pour the yoghurt coating over the bars. Depending on how thick you want your coating to be, you probably have some coating left over. You can store this in the freezer for later use.
- Then, let your bars with coating dry in your dehydrator on the lowest temperature setting, or by simply using a fan. This time we will not turn on the oven, since we do not want the bars to get hot. If you use a fan it will probably take about 6 to 8 hours (overnight is ideal), whereas in the dehydrator it will probably take only 1 to 2 hours. You can store them at room temperature for up to 1,5 weeks (depending on how dry your blueberries are), or store them in your freezer, but make sure they do not come into contact with any moisture, since that will ruin the coating.
- These bars may be quite a lot of work, but they are 100% worth it!
– Special thanks to Ekoplaza for providing the ingredients for this recipe as a part of their 5X LKKRDR challenge: recipes for which you only need five ingredients, to reduce food waste! For this recipe I used 11 ingredients, so a little more than five, oops! But then again, you could see this as being two different recipes, one for the granola bars, and one for the yoghurt coating ;) Luckily almost all ingredients for these bars keep very well, with the exception of the blueberries and the almond yoghurt. What are you doing to reduce food waste? –