Get ready for granola bars with a dose of umami.
Umami. Umami! That’s a fun word to say (and spell). Thanks to my venture into the world of miso paste the other day, I got a very intense hit of umami.
Have you tried miso paste? The darker the color, the bolder the taste. So what did I do my first time dabbling in the world of miso?
I went straight for the paste with a rich, red color.
I know I’ve told you I couldn’t describe the incomparable flavor of the persimmon. I’ve filled you in on my experience with chestnuts and artichokes . . . interesting foods in their own right, don’t get me wrong.
But miso paste?
Unlike anything I’ve tried before.
Which set me wondering: why not combine this savory, salty, soybean spread with peanut butter, honey, oats, and seeds for a unique spin on granola bars? In a process as simple as mix, cool, and eat? (Well, eat after you’ve drizzled the granola bars with an extra oomph of umami in the form of a miso glaze, if your heart so desires—skip the glaze, and you’ll still be chowing down on granola bars that are out-of-this-world delicious!)
I mean, it’s not like I haven’t done savory + granola before, right?
Got any miso paste lurking in your kitchen? Stashes of peanut butter and honey? (Staples in my pantry, in case you didn’t know.) Oats? Sunflower seeds? Buckwheat groats? Flax meal? Good! Then you’ve got everything you need for granola bar euphoria.
I exaggerate, you say? They can’t be all that, you scoff?
Go ahead and see for yourself. And when you’re too busy rapturously eating, maybe I won’t say “I told you so.”
No-Bake Miso Peanut Butter Granola Bars with Miso Honey Glaze
(Makes one huge bar, or two normal-sized bars)
Recipe by C.Marie
Eat one of these granola bars for breakfast with a bowl of yogurt and a cup of coffee . . . as a post-workout snack . . . crumpled over a salad of mixed greens . . . the ways to eat these are endless.
How will you eat yours?
What I gathered together:
The granola bars:
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1 tablespoon buckwheat groats
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1 ½ tablespoons peanut butter
½ tablespoon miso paste (whichever variety you have on hand, but I used red miso, which packs more of an umami punch)
2 tablespoons honey
½ tablespoon water
Dashes of ginger
Dashes of cinnamon
½ tablespoon ground flax
The miso glaze:
½ teaspoon miso paste
½ teaspoon water
½ tablespoon honey
How I threw it together:
Grease a mini loaf pan (or whatever small, square-ish, rectangular pan you can find) with oil or butter—I used coconut oil. (Recently discovered coconut oil—love this stuff!)
Get out a large saucepan. Spread the oats, groats, and seeds over the surface, forming a nice, even layer. Toast on medium-low heat—watching carefully so that nothing burns—until everything has evenly browned, and has released a toasty, nutty aroma.
Dump the toasted mixture into a bowl, and set aside. In the same pan, on low heat, melt together the peanut butter, miso paste, honey, and water until glossy and smooth. (This happens quickly, so don’t leave it for a second!)
Once smooth, pour over the toasted mixture until well combined. Sprinkle in the ginger, cinnamon, and flax, and stir until fully incorporated (yes, this takes some arm muscle!).
Pack into the prepared pan, pushing down hard until it’s firm and compact. Allow to cool. (To speed up the process, I popped mine in the freezer.)
While cooling, you can mix up the glaze—that is, if you’re in a glaze-y state of mind. In a small bowl, stir together the miso, water, and honey until smooth. Drizzle over the bars.
Take a huge bite; sigh in bliss; then, take another bite. Crunchy. Chewy. The toasted oats, groats, and seeds combined with honey-sweetened peanut butter against a subtle backdrop of savory, salty miso is good as-is. But topped off with that miso glaze . . . mmm . . . granola bar euphoria.
You realize it, too? See?
I told you so.
Hey, I didn’t say I wouldn’t say it.
I said maybe I wouldn’t.