With many of you on the road enjoying summer travels right now, I thought it was the perfect time to re-share this old favorite portable vegan + gluten free granola bars recipe. Originally published back in 2012, it has since gotten a photo and content update and was worth giving some new love.
These granola bars are super easy to make, nutrition packed, and absolutely delicious.
Make a batch of these vegan and gluten free granola bars to keep on hand for the week – or better yet, double the recipe and freeze half for later! They make excellent travel buddies – or cubicle buddies. ;)
Do you guys prefer chewy or crunchy granola bars?
I’m fully on team chewy, which is probably why I really love these bars; they have an awesome chewy texture and aren’t too sweet, but they have a lot of great flavor.
They also won’t fall apart on you like crunchy granola bars – because who wants half their granola bar to be in the their lap rather than their mouth? Not cool.
The other thing I love about these bars is that they are seriously satisfying. Whenever I make granola bars the key is to make sure they have lots of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, because otherwise they won’t have much staying power!
These are packed with a ton of nutritional superstars: walnuts, nut butter, oats, chickpea flour, and ground flaxseed. You will not be hungry again an hour later after enjoying one of these bad boys!
They are easy to make, too. A quick mixing sesh and into the oven they go.
Once the bars are out of the oven and cool, I suggest slicing them into bars and wrapping them up individually in foil for easier grabbing and going later in the week.
They will last longer if you store them in the fridge, but don’t worry about them being in your bag all day long – they don’t need to stay refrigerated.
Here’s the full recipe for my vegan gluten free granola bars.
Please let me know how you like them and tag me @fANNEtasticfood on social media so I can see what adventures you’ve gotten up to with these bars in tow!
Yield: 8-10 bars Vegan Gluten Free Granola Bars
These granola bars are a nutritional powerhouse; packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats, they’ll keep you going whether you need a quick breakfast or a handy on-the-go snack.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed + 6 Tbsp warm water
1 & 3/4 cups oats*
1 cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
2/3 cup dried cranberries (or raisins/cherries/chocolate chips)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts*
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (omit if you use salted nut butter)
1/2 cup almond or peanut butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1) Mix the flax meal with the warm water and set aside to “gel.” This is the vegan equivalent of two eggs!
2) In a large bowl, mix oats, chickpea flour, cranberries, walnuts, cinnamon, and sea salt. In a separate smaller bowl, mix nut butter with maple syrup, then add the flax/water mixture, which should now have gelled, and stir again.
3) Mix wet ingredients into dry. Pour into a greased square or rectangular baking dish (mine is 11x7 but slightly smaller would be better) and bake 15 to 18 minutes, until top is golden brown. Allow to cool, then cut into bar shapes.
Hey friends! Matt and I kicked off our weekend on Friday our usual fave way – with nachos + happy hour at Screwtop in Clarendon.
Riese was a bittttt of a hot mess so we didn’t have a long, leisurely happy hour, but it was still a lot of fun. :) I love our Friday tradition!
We spent the rest of the night on the couch watching the new season of Stranger Things – who else is into that show? Sooo good!
On Saturday, we took a morning walk with the dog and then I threw together a mediterranean quinoa salad (basically my Mediterranean Bulgur Salad but with quinoa instead) and brought it with us as we headed out to see our friends Kathleen and Zach!
They have a 6 week old and we were excited to finally make it over to meet her – and Riese had the BEST time playing with Van, their almost 3 year old!
I figured a light and healthy lunch would be welcomed because I remember us doing a lot of takeout and heavier casseroles when Riese was born, and I was right – it was a hit, and there was enough to leave them with some leftovers for the week, too!
We got back in time for Riese to take a super long nap – I guess playing with the big kid wore her out! – and then in the late afternoon we headed to our pool to meet our friends Jackie and Aaron. They have a 1 year old so we kicked it at the baby pool and enjoyed some adult beverages and got dinner from the snack bar. Their blackened salmon BLT wrap is legit!
We always have a blast with Jackie and Aaron – good to see them as it had been awhile!
As for Sunday morning, I was up and out early to meet my friend Sokphal for a run!
It was hottttttttttt even at 7:30 a.m., but it felt good to get some movement in and thankfully Sokphal was cool with some walking breaks. ;)
I’m loving summer adventures, but can’t wait for cooler weather for running!
3.36 miles – apologies to my readers who appreciate round number mileage stats. ;)
When I got home, Matt and I threw a fruit plate together and then headed over to my running buddy Diane’s place – she was hosting a group of us for brunch. Fun!
The fruit plate was a hit – as was the appetizer pizza they put out! I was rungry!
Diane and her husband Drew have 2 girls – I think about 5 and 7 years old – and they were super cute with Riese. Shortly after we arrived they all disappeared upstairs; when Matt and I went up to see what was going on they had Riese in their bathroom on a stepstool and were washing her hands for her. She was obsessed with them! Too cute.
Riese loved their piano, too. :) We want to get one for our new house – Matt likes playing and I hope Riese will, too!
Yummy brunch post-playtime:
When we got home, we got Riese down for her nap and I ran out to do some errands while Matt did some packing and things around the house.
Post-nap, we headed to the pool again, this time to meet our friends Heather and Mike and their little one who is Riese’s age! It was quite the social weekend. :)
We decided to wait and have dinner at home this time, so we stuck with watermelon + drinks at the pool, and then after getting Riese cleaned up and to bed Matt fired up the grill for us.
We made one of our usual faves – grilled chicken, baked beans, and veggies (this is a belated photo once one of the chicken breasts and one of the veggie packs was already taken off).
The little foil pack is the veggies – I sliced up some zucchini and Matt packed them in foil packets with a little butter and minced garlic, then tossed them on the grill. Fun way to cook them and super low maintenance, too! He said he learned that tip on some of his camping trips.
Plus baked beans – just canned ones that were heated up on the grill in a cast iron skillet. Delicious and simple summery meal!
We have lots of baked beans leftover so I’m looking forward to channeling the British this week and eating them on toast for breakfast. :)
Vacation with a toddler wasn’t exactly relaxing like vacation used to be, but it was definitely a lot of fun. :)
We got back to DC on Sunday and are now dreaming of last week, when we were busy enjoying beach happy hours…
(Riese ate legit ALL of the grapes (cut in half) in the following photo…)
And taking in the sights by foot!
I got in a short run one morning (I think I made it about 3 miles, but walked about half of it… sooooo hot out!) while Riese was out taking a walk with her grandparents – my favorite place to run in Duck is the boardwalk. Such beautiful views!
I also made it out to a couple yoga classes with my sister-in-law Morgana – we love Village Yoga in Duck and go every year.
We also had lots of beach time – great sunny weather all week so we made it there at least once a day.
We came back to the house for lunch and nap time every day; Matt and I would usually hang out at the pool (at our house) while Riese slept.
As for eats from the rest of the week, we had some good ones!
On Wednesday night, we had our annual “kid’s night” – the grandparents watch the grandkids and the “kids” – meaning us – all go out for dinner and drinks. ;)
This year’s dinner was at Red Sky Cafe in the town of Duck. I don’t think I’d been there before – maybe once for lunch many years ago?
We had a drink out at the tiki bar while waiting for our table – here’s our huge group!
Dinner was really good – I shared a couple appetizers with Matt and others, starting with the buffalo tuna bites – basically the flavors of hot wings but it was tuna! Yum.
Plus the burrata salad – also really good.
For my entree, I had the mixed grill with a grilled fish, crab cake, and shrimp combo. I had to get my fill of seafood while so close to the ocean!
We also ate lots of salmon last week – my father-in-law did a tasty cedar plank grilled salmon with a maple mustard glaze one night that was delicious.
Enjoyed with tomato pie (bought locally – a beach specialty), a farro and fruit salad, zucchini and squash with parmesan, and a pickled cucumber and onion salad. So fresh and satisfying.
Post-dinner sunset enjoying from our deck once Riese was in bed:
I made good use of the leftover salmon, farro fruit salad, and other odds and ends in the fridge for a couple lunches later in the week.
The final food hurrah of the week was dinner out on our very last night in Duck! We went to dinner at the Lifesaving Station at the Sanderling Hotel. We started nice and early (5 pm) which was great for the kid situation!
Matt and I shared two salads to start – the caesar and the mixed greens – as well as a crab cake. Plus some Prosecco!
And for my entree, I decided to go rogue (aka not get seafood) and have the lamb! Everything was great.
We were really sad to say goodbye to everyone! We headed out early on Sunday morning to try to beat some of the traffic, and made it out of the beach area quickly but did hit some traffic later in the drive towards DC.
Riese did pretty well – she was a mess on the drive down to the beach and refused to fall asleep (until like 10 p.m., oof) and Matt and I thought it was probably because one of us was sitting back there with her so she wanted to keep hanging out vs. sleep. So this time one of us was back there with her for most of the drive, but when it was naptime after lunch, we both sat up front and sure enough, she fell right to sleep. Whew! Live and learn.
Have a great day, friends, and I’ll see you back here on Friday!
Are you going to the beach this summer (or have you already been)? Which beach?
We are here in Duck in the Outer Banks in North Carolina. We come every summer for a week with Matt’s family and some friends, and it’s always one of my favorite weeks of the year!
It’s especially fun this year because Riese is big enough to really enjoy the beach! She’s LOVING it – she’s super into the waves and loves playing in the sand with the other kids that are here in our (massive) group. We brought a baby pool to use on the beach and she’s been having fun in that, too!
We’ve spent a lot of time in the big pool as well!
We’ve had great weather so far this trip – fingers crossed it lasts.
Besides playing on the beach and in the pool with Riese (and relaxing at the pool at our house while she takes her nap…), we’ve also had some fun fitness adventures.
Matt and I took Riese out for a jog on our second morning here which was fun but HARD – I do a ton of walking with the stroller but not much running and man it’s tough. Mad props to those of you who run with strollers – you are hardcore!
We traded off pushing the stroller and probably covered about 2 miles which felt like plenty. ;)
Yesterday morning a bunch of the ladies and I took advantage of a free outdoor yoga class – the town of Duck hosts one every Tuesday morning at 7:30 during summer!
It’s a super low key class but the stretching felt nice and it was a beautiful morning for it.
We’ve also had some great food so far this week, including two visits to Treehouse Coffee for breakfast and lattes.
The first round was with our friends Jack and Megan and their son, and I had the bacon, egg, and avocado biscuit – delicious – plus some fruit, which Riese ate most of. :)
For round 2 I had their breakfast bowl, which had roasted potatoes, micro greens, crispy brussels sprouts, black beans, and a fried egg. It was really delicious!
Home cooked dinners so far have included a yummy peanut pasta + grilled chicken (for a similar recipe, check out my Peanut Noodles with Tilapia) with some salad:
And last night we had fish tacos – always a hit:
Plus some unpictured corn on the cob, and some super juicy watermelon!
For lunches, we’ve been keeping it easy with sandwiches and such. Today we got smart and packed lunch for the beach so we could stay until nap time vs. rushing back to the house for lunch!
And now it’s time to head to bed so I can do more of this tomorrow… (New favorite photo, even though Riese has half of her snack still on her chin – whoops)
Oh and more of this, too.
Beach happy hours are the BEST happy hours.
I wish this week would last forever! After a stressful few months, I’m feeling especially grateful to have this time to relax, disconnect, and spend time with friends and family.
Have a great day guys – I’ll plan to check back in on Friday with another vacay update!
Beach or mountains? I love both but I have to go beach – it’s the best! I could play in the waves all day.
Is it just me or is it not really summer until you have watermelon dripping down your chin?
With the 4th of July holiday coming up later this week here in the U.S., I wanted to share a round up of some fun and summer-y recipes featuring watermelon that would be perfect to include as part of your Independence Day celebrations/BBQs.
Even if you’re not celebrating the 4th of July, I hope you’ll enjoy these delicious recipes this summer regardless!
And if you want to dial things up a bit at your 4th of July party, there’s always Boozy Watermelon Pops. ;)
If you’re grilling out, try my Roasted Salmon with Watermelon Salsa – the salsa would also be delicious on burgers, and you could make extra and have it as an appetizer dip with chips!
A couple other cool and refreshing BBQ side dish faves from my blog that I love because they use the WHOLE watermelon (aka the rind – so whatever you don’t keep to use as a watermelon bowl, use for these recipes): Watermelon Rind Coleslaw + Watermelon Rind Gazpacho.
I also love the look of these Watermelon Feta Skewers as another fun appetizer idea – super customizable with different cheeses and herbs, too!
For dessert, make a cute Watermelon Flag! A savory (and even simpler) version could use feta instead of cake and skip the dipping sauces – either option would be cute and yummy.
I love the idea to make the flag using skewers rather than just the pieces of the fruit/other stuff – makes it easier for guests to eat!
I could clearly go on and on here, but I will end with this Watermelon “Pizza” – another cute, colorful, and patriotic appetizer or side that would be easy to make. I love how colorful it is!
What are your favorite ways to enjoy watermelon in the summer/at BBQs? Any other fun and patriotic recipe ideas to share?
I’ve got a fun new recipe for you guys today: Savory French Toast!
If you’re a fan of regular french toast but want to mix it up, then give this a try! It’s basically regular french toast just minus the sugar and cinnamon, plus some herbs and seasoning, and with savory toppings.
This is a great brunch recipe to serve to a crowd, especially if you have a griddle that can handle a bunch of slices of bread at once.
I highly recommend serving it with a fried egg, or for a crowd you could do a big batch of soft boiled eggs for less hands-on time for the cook. :)
Another idea is to use this savory french toast as the base for a more fancy/flavorful avocado toast! For topping ideas, see my Avocado Toast Recipes blog post. :)
As for the recipe – it’s an easy one!
Here’s what you’re working with ingredient-wise to make this easy savory french toast:
Whisk your milk, eggs, parsley, thyme, granulated garlic, salt, and pepper together in a shallow dish.
Working in batches, dip bread slices in egg mixture and let soak for about 30 seconds per side.
Transfer the soaked bread to a nonstick pan or griddle over medium heat (with a little butter or oil to grease it) and cook for about 2 minutes per side, until the french toast is browned and the center of the bread springs back when pressed.
And that’s it!
Serve the french toast topped with whatever your little heart desires… I suggest arugula, avocado, crumbled goat cheese or feta, and fried or soft-boiled eggs, but you do you!
Here’s the full recipe.
If you try it, please let me know how you like it – and feel free to tag me @fANNEtasticfood on social media so I can see the meal in action!
Yield: 8 pieces Savory French Toast
This easy savory french toast makes a great brunch for a crowd.
Whisk milk, eggs, parsley, thyme, granulated garlic, salt, and pepper together in a shallow dish.
Heat a nonstick pan or griddle over medium heat with a small pat of butter.
Working in batches, dip bread slices in egg mixture and let soak for about 30 seconds per side. Transfer the soaked bread to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes per side, until the french toast is browned and the center of the bread springs back when pressed.
Serve the french toast topped with arugula, sliced avocado, crumbled goat cheese, and fried or soft-boiled eggs.
We kicked off our Friday my favorite way: with happy hour!
The nachos + beer at Screwtop hit the spot as always.
And yes, Riese ate nachos for dinner, too. #parentsoftheyear
Saturday kicked off with some oatmeal – made on the stove since I made more than one serving, but we used the recipe for my Microwave Banana Oatmeal.
I added about 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed before cooking as well, and then added some almond butter once it was cooked. Riese loved it!
We spent the rest of the morning at the playground. Matt was doing a workout over lunch, so Riese and I noshed solo.
I had avocado toast topped with broccoli slaw, tomatoes, and chicken, and Riese had broccoli, bread, and a veggie burger, plus some guac and tzatziki for dipping. She’s really into dipping things into sauces right now!
The rest of the day was spent packing up all our stuff at my parents’ house and moving back over to our place once Riese was up. It’s nice to have our own space again and Riese was excited to see all her toys, but I was sad to leave – as an extrovert, I get lonely at home with Matt gone all day and I had gotten used to having my mom around (and my dad when he wasn’t traveling for work). I’ll really miss coming back from adventures with Riese and having someone else at the house. Who wants to start a commune with us? Kidding/not kidding… ;)
I took Riese to sweetgreen for dinner while Matt did some organizing to try to make the house more homey again – it’s in a weird transition state right now because half our stuff is packed in storage, which I’m sure doesn’t help with me being blah about being home because everything feels very unsettled. We don’t move to our new place until late July… I wish we were moving sooner so we could just be done and get fully settled… I’m going to be SO GLAD to be done with this transition phase.
Anyway – I tried to shake off the blahs and buck up on Sunday, which ended up being a really fun day – the weather was gorgeous and we spent most of the day outside.
First up: a hike with my mom friend Olivia, her husband Chris, and their little one Charlotte!
We hadn’t gone hiking in ages and it was so nice to get out into the woods.
At first Riese really didn’t want to get into the hiking backpack, but once she was in and Matt started walking she loved it. Whew!
We hiked along the Potomac and then stopped at a beachy area and let the kids run around and have a snack before hiking back.
We grabbed lunch on our way home at a BBQ place in the newly renovated Ballston Quarter – yum! Weird orange lighting because an orange umbrella was up above us. :)
After Riese’s nap, we headed over to our friend Heather and Mike’s place – they had a few of us over for dinner and playtime with the kids.
The kids all loved the baby pool and it was perfect weather to relax outside! Such a fun night.
And that’s that! I hope you guys had a nice weekend. :)
Plus this yummy salmon quinoa salad I got yesterday at Duke’s Counter in Woodley Park with a friend. Riese ate a little of the salmon but mostly just had bread, milk, and a fruit/veg pouch – whatever works.
On Wednesday night I had a fun treat and went out on the town with some mom friends!
I am grateful to have a solid mom friend group now that I met through one of the local mom listservs – it started as a few of us hanging out last summer when the kids were really little, and it has grown into a bigger group now as friends have added their friends, etc.
We usually meet up with the kids during the week for playdates, but every once in awhile someone will organize a mom’s night out. We had a big turnout for this one – fun to see everyone all dolled up. :)
We went to a new-ish Mexican spot in Clarendon called Buena Vida. It was hot but we sat on the roof for awhile anyway – pretty views up there!
For dinner we shared some guac, queso, and chips, and then everyone had the tacos. I got one pork, one steak, and one fish! Service was super slow but we weren’t in a hurry and the food (and drinks) were good, so it all worked out. :)
Time to try to speed through some more work and to hop on a nutrition client call (fingers crossed Riese continues to nap…) – our twice a week nanny was out of town this week and most of last week so I’m behind on work but loved the extra time to play with my little one. :)
Have a great weekend and I’ll see you guys back here on Monday!