Granola Bars with Pistachio, Cranberries & White Chocolate – with a Vegan Option

Summer has come, hurray!!! Mr. Timberlake’s and Mr. Pharrell Williams’ summer hits are streaming from the stereo, a light breeze from the window is playing with my dress and I am drinking lemonade – do I need to say that this is my version of being in heaven!
When living in scandinavia summer is something we spend many months dreaming of and after waiting in anticipation for it to come everybody seem so happy when it is finally here… and guys I tell you  love is in the air this time a year!
This is probably not so different from anywhere else – people just seem to fall in love at summer time. Even though I have been in the same relationship for almost 7 years now, something magic happens when the trees turn green and the air gets warm – I fall in love all over again!

What better way to celebrate love and each other than going on a picnic, a weekend trip or a long walk in the forrest. Luckily I have created the most awesome and delicious picnic snack. Granola bars with pistachio, white chocolate and cranberries.. Okay I admit these tasty bites can be enjoyed at anytime – alone or in company with someone else – but I will still dedicate this batch to celebrate summer and love.

I have tried to make these filled with flavour, whole grains and energy but not loaded with empty calories. I made the base of egg, bananas and rolled oats. The filling can be varied a lot, but I love the combination of the sour and sweet cranberries together with the pistachio and the sweet white chocolate. As (almost) always I have added my beloved lemon zest to create flavour and aroma together with cardamom and vanilla.
Grab a hand – lead the way – find a sunny spot – and enjoy each other and these granola bars…

All-natural Granola Bars with Pistachio & White Chocolate with a vegan option
Makes around 16 bars

2 ripe bananas
8 soft medjool dates
1 egg / or 1 tbsp chia or flax seed in 3 tbsp water
1 cup rolled oats/spelt/barley (100 g)
3/4 cup toasted coconut flakes (45 g)
½ cup almonds/hazelnuts, chopped (75 g)
1/2 cup chopped pistachio (50 g) hold back 1/3 of it to top with
1/2 cup cranberries (50 g)
2 tbsp sesame seeds/poppy seeds
Zest from 1 organic lemon
1 vanilla bean, scraped
¼- 1/2 tsp cardamom
½ cup white chocolate (50 g) if vegan use a vegan chocolate or leave out
1 tsp coconut oil
A generous pinch of flaky sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 °F/175 °C and line a baking pan around (8×8 inch / 20×20 cm) with parchment paper.
2. Use a fork to mash bananas and dates in a bowl (use a blender and pulse if the dates are too chewy) and whisk in the egg/vegan egg.
3. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the chocolate. Hold back half of the lemon zest and some pistachio for topping.
4. Add the mix in the baking pan and bake in for 20-25 min, rotate pan midway to get an even baking. When golden and firm, remove an set a side to cool completely.
5. When cooled use a sharp knife to cut your granola bars into desired size, youll get around 12-16 bars. Place the bars on a piece of parchment paper with a little distance between.
6. In a double boiler melt the white chocolate. Use a fork or a spoon to drizzle white chocolate on top of the bars in an uneven pattern and top if of with some chopped pistachio and the rest of the lemon zest. Wait until the chocolate has cooled, if impatient place in the fridge, and then enjoy. They can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week (or two weeks if they are made with a vegan egg alternative).

Nutrition Info: 160 kcal pr. granola bar when you are making 16 pieces

Granola bars with pistachio, white chocolate and dried cranberries_ATLS