Question: Have you finished your holiday shopping yet?
My answer: Not yet. But as of this Friday, it’ll be done and dusted, with just the wrapping left to do. Hooray!
I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t really view Christmas shopping as the stressful activity that a lot of movies and marketing make it out to be. I think the bit we find stressful is the waiting – the having to wait in lines and in traffic – both of which could make us late for wherever we want to go next. We all (myself included) constantly talk about not having enough hours in the day to get through our to-do lists, and I think it’s more so the prospect of wasting time waiting, rather than the act of Christmas shopping itself that we get stressed about.
With that said, in today’s digital age, it’s nice that we don’t necessarily have to do all that waiting. This year the majority of the things I’ve bought for friends and family have been purchased online, and I actually still really enjoy the tactile experience of going into stores. I’m totally aware however, that the experience might not be quite as enjoyable as we get closer to the 25th.
Perhaps you’re the type who tends to get a later start on Christmas shopping. If so, you’re probably anticipating the need for energy to endure the line-ups and navigate the crowds. On top of that, there’s finding the tolerance and inner zen to do all this while listening to the same 5-song holiday playlist looping over and over again at the mall. (WHY do they always pick the SAME ONES?)
If that sounds familiar, today’s No-Bake Almond Chocolate Chunk Granola Bars are for you. And even if that’s not you, but you like really yummy things (that also happen to be healthy), the recipe is for you too.
I made these Almond Chocolate Chunk Granola Bars a couple of months ago, and completely forgot about them until this past weekend when I was scrolling back through my photos in Lightroom. Some sort of holiday power snack seemed like a good idea, and because the holidays are a busy time, I’ve kept these super easy: no oven required, just one mixing bowl, one small pot, and a few simple whole food ingredients.
These hold up really well when wrapped individually, so they’re perfect for tossing in your bag on the way out the door to run errands. On the other hand, if you’re just sitting at home and shopping online in your jammies, I happen to know for a fact that they taste lovely with a cozy cup of tea or a latte. ?Enjoy!
These vegan No-Bake Almond Chocolate Chunk Granola Bars are a perfect for busy days when you need a healthy snack or breakfast on the go.
- 1 ½ cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 ¼ cups brown crispy rice cereal
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup chopped raw almonds
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of sea salt
- ½ cup brown rice syrup
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (or honey, if not vegan)
- 1/3 cup natural organic almond butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup dairy-free dark chocolate chunks
- Line a baking dish or freezer-safe container with parchment paper, leaving some paper hanging over the edges of the dish to be used as handles that pull the bars out later. (The dish I used was about 8”x8”
- Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Place a small pot over medium heat on the stove. Add the brown rice syrup, maple syrup, almond butter and vanilla to the pot, whisking to incorporate. Once smooth and runny, pour this into the dry ingredients.
- Stir well with a spatula, coating the dry ingredients.
- Transfer the mixture to the lined baking dish. Press it down as firmly and evenly as possible into a single layer, pushing it into all 4 corners of the dish.
- Freeze for at least 5 hours. Once firm, remove the block from the dish and use a sharp knife to slice into squares or bars.
- Wrap each individually and store in the fridge. These also keep well in the freezer if you prefer to make a bigger batch.
I’ve tried making variations of this bar with other liquid sweeteners to replace the brown rice syrup, but have yet to find one that actually holds the ingredients together well. If you happen to try and have success, I’d love to hear what you used!
So tell me… are you more of an online or in-store Christmas shopper? Any gifts left to buy?