Recipe by American Pecan Council
Prepared and photographed by NutraMilk nutritionist, Florencia Tagliavini.
For pecan butter
- 2 cups (220g) pecans
- 1/8 teaspoon Pink Himalayan salt (optional)
For granola bars
- 1 cup pecan butter made with the NutraMilk
- 1 ¼ cups pecan halves
- 2 cups quick-cooking oats (or old-fashioned oats, pulsed briefly in a food processor or blender to break them up)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup maple syrup or honey
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Making pecan butter
- Place pecans and salt in the NutraMilk container.
- Press Butter cycle, set for 3-4 minutes.
- Press Start.
- Open the container lid.
- If necessary, set for an additional 1-2 minutes for a creamier butter.
- Add maple syrup and vanilla to the pecan butter. Press mix and start to combine. Taste, and add more salt or cinnamon if needed.
- Line a 9-inch square baker with one strip of parchment paper, cut to fit neatly across the base. The parchment paper will make it easy for you to slice the bars later.
- For maximum flavor, toast the pecans: In a medium skillet over medium heat, toast the pecans, stirring frequently (don’t let them burn!), until they are nice and fragrant, about 4 to 7 minutes. Transfer them to a cutting board to cool. Set aside 16 of your prettiest pecan halves for garnish, then chop the rest. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, cinnamon, and salt, and stir to blend. Set aside.
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Use a big spoon to mix them together until the two are evenly combined and no dry oats remain. Add the chopped pecans and stir until they are evenly dispersed. The drier the mixture, the firmer the bars will be, so stir in extra oats if the mixture seems wet. Conversely, if you the mixture is too thick, you might need to drizzle in another tablespoon of maple syrup or honey to help it all stick together.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared square baker. Use your spoon to arrange the mixture fairly evenly in the baker. Cover the bottom of a flat, round surface (like a short, sturdy drinking glass) with a strip of parchment paper and pack the mixture down as firmly and evenly as possible. Press the reserved pecan halves into the surface to create 4 even rows and 4 even columns.
- Cover the baker and refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight. This gives the oats time to absorb moisture so the granola bars can set. When you’re ready to slice, lift the bars out of the baker by grabbing both ends of the parchment paper. Use a sharp chef’s knife to slice the mixture into 4 even rows and 4 even columns (these “bars” stick together better in a square shape).
- For portability, you can wrap individual bars in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Bars keep well for a couple of days at room temperature, but I recommend storing individually wrapped bars in a freezer-safe bag in the freezer for best flavor. They’ll keep for several months in the freezer.