[Post #61 for 365 days of Vegan, Gluten-Free, Portable Power Pucks]
As I was pressing the almonds into the tops of the Savory Almond-Rosemary Granola Bars, I knew what variation I wanted to do next: spicy Thai peanut.
It’s a bad habit of mine: as I am finishing up one project, I tend to let go and focus on what’s next. It does not work well in all situations, but with recipe creation, it’s finally working to my advantage. These savory granola bars are delicious proof. If you love the salty-spicy-slightly sweet combination of flavors in Thai food as much as I do, you will want to make these bars asap.
The lime and fresh herbs (you can use mint, cilantro, basil, or a combination–all three are widely used in Thai cooking) make these bars sing with fresh, savory flavor. I also relied on Thai curry paste to give a backbone of spicy flavor, but I have some easy options in the notes of the recipe for using what you have on hand. (That being said: Thai curry pastes are a great addition to your pantry! They are not expensive–just a few dollars for a little jar–and they last for a very long time in the refrigerator. It’s easy to throw together a Thai curry, Thai-inspired soup, or Thai-spiced stir-fries. You can find them in the Asian section of the supermarket :)).
These are such a delicious break from the monotony of super-sweet energy bars–I hope you give them a whirl!
- ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon brown rice syrup (or maple syrup or agave nectar)
- ¾ cup rolled oats (certified GF as needed)
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal
- ¼ cup packed fresh cilantro, mint or basil leaves (or a combination)
- 1 teaspoon red or green Thai curry paste (see notes for options)
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt (optional)
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped toasted or roasted peanuts
- Spray or grease 5 cups of a standard size muffin tin.
- Warm the peanut butter, lime zest, lime juice and syrup in a small saucepan on the stovetop over low heat until warm and melted but not boiling (you can also do this in the microwave).
- Place the oats, flaxseed meal, herbs, curry paste and optional salt in a small food processor. Add the warm peanut butter mixture; pulse until oats are chopped and mixture comes together into a cohesive dough.
- Divide dough into 5 equal portions; roll into a ball and press each into prepared cups, flattening tops with fingertips. Sprinkle with peanuts, pressing into dough to adhere. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour until firm before removing from tin.
Curry Paste Options: Don't worry if you do not have Thai curry paste--you can create layers of Thai-influenced flavor without it. Here are some options: (a) 1 teaspoon curry powder; (b) ¾ teaspoon ground ginger + ½ teaspoon Sriracha; (c) just 1 teaspoon Sriracha.
Additional Nutrition Highlights:
*High in manganese
*Very high in vitamin B6