When it comes to the world of snacking on the go, we’re lucky to have so many options. Some of my personal favorites are fruit, muffins and granola bars. One advantage the granola bar has over the others, is that it can get tossed around in your backpack, lunch can or the back seat of your car, and it remains virtually indestructible.
A soft peach or peach muffin on the other hand, might leave you with a bit of a mess to clean up and a hungry belly if not handled properly. I’ve definitely dumped squashed plums that resembled jam out of my backpack more than once. Maybe I should just learn to pack my groceries better like a real adult, or I could just eat granola bars instead. For now, I’m opting for the latter.
These sesame anise granola bars are chewy, tasty, not too sweet and require no baking. You can toast the oats until golden brown if you prefer the taste (I do!), but they are still just as delicious if you want to skip the extra step.
If you’re wondering what anise oil is, it’s a sweet, licorice-like concentrated oil used in teas, candy making and baking. In many cultures, it is used as a digestive aid after meals. It serves many other purposes, including: arthritis pain relief, libido enhancer, head lice remover, antiseptic and treatment for menstrual cramps.
If you live in Canada, you can find anise oil at the Bulk Barn or you can purchase it online at amazon.
- 2 cups Oats* (use GF oats if you can't eat gluten)
- ½ cup Sesame Seeds
- ¼ cup Coconut Sugar
- ½ tsp Sea Salt
- ⅔ cup Tahini
- ½ cup Rice Syrup
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ⅛ tsp Anise Oil **
- Optional step: Heat your oven to 350°F. Spread oats out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 15 minutes or until they turn golden brown. While oats are in the oven, prepare the rest of your ingredients.
- Line an 8x8 pan with parchment. Mix sesame seeds, salt and oats (when they come out of the oven) in a medium mixing bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, combine coconut sugar, tahini and rice syrup. Stir over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until coconut sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add vanilla and anise oil.
- Pour the wet mix in the bowl with dry and mix thoroughly. Using wet hands works best here.
- Once combined, dump the granola mix into your prepared pan and flatten with the back of a spoon or whatever utensil works best for you.
- Cut with a knife or dough scraper. Place in fridge to let set for about half an hour. Remove and store bars in a sealed container at room temperature. Makes 10-12 bars.
- *If you don't want to toast the oats, proceed to step 2.
- **If using anise extract instead of anise oil, you can up the amount to ¾ tsp. Anise oil is more concentrated than the extract, therefore producing a stronger flavor.