Learn to make ‘addictive’ vegan, gluten-free granola bars

From the menu … Java Cats Cafe, 415 Memorial Drive, Atlanta. 470-305-7575;

The Power Bar at Java Cats Cafe is my new favorite. Slightly sticky, totally addictive. Will they share the recipe? — Bobbi West, Atlanta

The food at Java Cats Cafe comes from Gathering Industries, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that works with people who need a second chance, training them for careers in the culinary world or for other positions. These power bars are just one of the many offerings available at the cafe.

Amber West, Gathering Industries’ director of operations, provided this recipe. If you’re sure of the source of your oats (not processed in a place where they also process wheat, barley or rye products), the recipe is gluten-free. Most important thing in making the bars is to be sure you press the combined ingredients in the baking dish really well. That’s the only way the bars will stick together. 

The ingredient list is long, so we asked West to share the process of creating the recipe. “I had been testing vegan recipes for weeks. My goal was if I had to make something vegan then I wanted it to be delicious no matter who was eating it, vegan or not.

“I played around with sweeteners for quite a while, and I really liked the uniqueness of this combination.”

Brown rice syrup is generally available at natural foods stores. And if you want to add one more step, West suggests you can toast the almonds and cashews to amp up the flavor.

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