Cranberry Hazelnut Guaya Bars

Makes 16 squares

You’ll need:

1/4 C spelt flour (For a GF version, use 1/4 C oat flour.)

2 T flax seeds, ground (or chia seeds)

1/2 t baking powder

1/4 t baking soda

1/2 t cinnamon

1/2 C rolled oats

1 C hazelnuts

1 C walnuts

2 T quinoa puffs (optional-I got these from Nuts.com which is a great site with great products.  Shredded coconut works beautifully here, too!)

2 C whole dried cranberries (alternatively, you could do 1 C of cranberries and 1 C of your choice of dried fruit)

1/4 C semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional-if you want to keep your sugar consumption in check, omit these)

1 egg (For a vegan version, add 3 T water to 1 T flax meal (in this order) and then refrigerate for minimum of 15 minutes…up to an hour is ok, too.)

1/4 C maple syrup

2 T coconut oil

To make:

1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Place nuts on a sheet pan and toast for about 7 minutes or until fragrant.  Let cool.  (This toasting step can be skipped and you’ll still get super yummy Guaya Bars, but the toasting adds a nice depth of flavor.)

2. In the meantime, add first 6 ingredients to a food processor and process for 5 seconds, until well combined.  Transfer to a large bowl.

3. Add cooled nuts to food processor and process for about 5 seconds to roughly chop the nuts.  Add quinoa puffs and dried fruit and process for another 10 seconds or until a coarse dough is formed.  Add chocolate chips and process for another 5-10 seconds.  Add to flour mixture.

4. In a separate bowl, combine egg, maple syrup and coconut oil and whisk well.  Add to flour and nut mixture.

5. Using your hands, squeeze the dough so that all ingredients get fully incorporated and sticky.

6. In a baking pan (I used 2, 9X9 pans) lined with parchment paper, add 3 or 4 generous handfuls (I have small hands so play with the right amount for you.) and flatten evenly.  (I prefer them thicker but cut smaller, but this part is entirely up to you.)

7. Bake in the oven at 350° for about 20 minutes.  You’ll want to check on it to make sure it doesn’t get too browned or dry.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.

8. Remove the entire block using the parchment paper and cut into desired shapes/sizes on a cutting board.  Let cool completely before serving.

9. Enjoy…again and again!

*The bars will keep for 4-5 days in a ziploc bag, but they freeze really well…I’ve kept extra batches for over a month and they’re still chewy and yummy and ridiculous!

Nathalie Curabba

Health-Supportive Chef

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Created by Ana Gavassa. Edible Rainbow Project ©2017