Squirrel Bars

Dear Caitlin,

I’ve been really into Oh She Glows lately.  I’ve always loved her blog, but I have usually shied away from her recipes, because they so often involve unusual ingredients that are difficult to procure or expensive or, let’s be real, just too darn healthy.

Chia seeds changed my mind.  I bought a bag, tried a recipe, tried another recipe, and then I realized I could totally be buying chia seeds in bulk on Amazon.


Now I can’t turn back.  I’m throwing frozen avocados and spelt flour and coconut milk all over the kitchen.  It’s like there was a vegan frat party here last night.

It’s hard to complain when the result is this delicious.

This recipe makes me feel like I’m a squirrel prepping for winter.  Or maybe just an old-fashioned prepper.


The only added sugar here comes from the dried sweetened cherries.  Did you know cherries are incredibly good for endurance athletes?  Check it.


Everything gets smushed together with bananas as the binder.


And, of course, we stack.


Adapted from Oh She Glows’ Feel Good Hearty Granola Bars, modified to suit allergies and the ingredients I had on hand.


1/2 Cup Buckwheat Grouts*
1/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds (or, Pepitas)
1/2 Cup Almonds, Chopped Coarsely
2 Cups Rolled Oats
3 Medium Bananas, Very Ripe
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Dried Cherries (Sweetened or Unsweetened, but… sweetened, obviously)
1/2 Cups Sunflower Seeds
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
Salt, to Taste (I used the barest dash)

(1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prep a smallish baking dish (I used 8″ by 8″) with parchment paper.  I recommend a light coating of your favorite nonstick spray, as the bananas will make these pretty sticky.

(2) Toast the buckwheat grouts and pumpkin seeds.  If you’re using pepitas instead of pumpkin seeds, there’s no need to toast.  I did this on the stove top over medium heat, for about 10 to 15 minutes.  They should smell fragrant, but not burned.

(3) Chop your almonds.

(4) Pulse the oats in a food processor until they become a fine powder.  It’s ok to leave a few bigger pieces, but definitely don’t skip this step entirely.  I’ve also had success grinding oats in my blender, so give that a try, if you don’t have a food processor available.

(5) Mash bananas thoroughly.  Add vanilla and mix until incorporated.

(6) Combine bananas and oats.

(7) Combine remaining ingredients.

(8) Press into prepared baking dish.  Use your hands or the back of a spoon to press in evenly.

(9) Bake for around 25 minutes.  The top of the bars should have some browning, but no crisping.

(10) Allow to cool before eating.  Trust.


* Eating these is a surefire way to feel like a squirrel.


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