“I can’t stop eating this!”, said Ryoya Takashima, author of the beautiful You Tube channel Peaceful Cuisine, in the description of his video with ChocolateGranola bars. Do you follow Ryoya? Oh, I have a certain crush on this fellow. Not crush in a crush sense, hehe, but I really enjoy watching his videos. And if you would ask why, the first answer would be, it’s so calming. So calming and soothing and it’s full of wisdom, mindfulness, thoughtfulness. It’s so calming to watch both his videos with or without music: photographic scenes set up with perfect golden ratio. His movements so calm and so assured. Ryoya is so much present in every little second of cutting vegetables, pouring water into the glass, stirring flour, turning the pancakes. The sound of knives, pots, gas turning on, vegetables frying or cocoa butter melting. Ryoya is a kind, really nice person and a great teacher.
And world could sure use more thoughtful and wise people like that.
Yes, I know, I do sound like someone with major crush on someone, but I really am not other than delighted with his way of cooking, presenting it in his videos and last but not least, his vegan way of everything he does, cooks and says. Also I really aprecciate his efforts in spreading “the vegan word” but gently, informative, by gentle but wise reasons and benefits to humans and our environment, nothing offensive or deffensive. He just does what he always does and everyone is free to join. Or look the other way. There is something that he wrote in his “About” section, I don’t think I’m allowed to copy his words so you go and read for yourself, but to make it short, he advises to start with yourself and be an example for others to see, believe, follow the example and benefit to both themselves and the Earth.
And I really like that.
Another reason why I’m saying all of this about Ryoya is because he has shown me that vegan way of living does not have to be strange way of living, as many people often think or say. He has shown me simple ways of cooking everything from breakfast to dinner with everyday stuff. Of course, it happens that I don’t have glutinous rice, sea weed, shiitake mushrooms or japanese condiments because I live far away and many things even if are possible to buy, are very pricey. But there are always substitutions, there is always something else to use, or if not, there is always new and interesting video to watch.
The first recipe I did by Ryoya’s direction was raisin yeast bread. That was back in my omnivororus days but it was soo greatly done and presented and I was playing with starters of a different kind so I gave it a try. And it was a huge success! And little by little, life went on with it’s ups and downs and changes and different choices so knowing about Ryoya’s channel was a great help to chosing the vegetarian/vegan ways. I also tried many of his other recipes and it worked perfectly. You should too!
So in plethora of his great videos I came to Granola bars video one day. So I decided to make it. And we couldn’t stop eating it too! Even though we said, ok, it’s granola, it’s packed with nuts and oats and dried fruits and sweetener and oil and with good amount of chocolate on top. So it’s not so diet friendly in a sense that you can grab and eat all you can get. Even though is healthy but it’s still firmly packed with all this stuff. And still, all we could do to stop ourselves from eating it all was to share it with our friends and at least lessen the amount of it on the baking sheet.
So there is the recipe. I changed it in some ways because agave syrup is horribly expencive where I live so I used not so vegan honey but you certanly go and use agave if you can. Add to that, I put more coconut oil in my version so if you’re going with agave, go with the original ammounts because it’s proven by Ryoya already. Also, I changed the ganache on top because I didn’t have cacao buter and cacao powder so used what I had on hand. Once I used tapioca starch instead of rice flour and it was ok too. Ok, I changed pretty much everything but it’s still Ryoya’s recipe!
Chocolate Granola bars
adapted from Ryoya Takashima
100 g coconut oil
100 g honey
200 g old fashioned rolled oats
100 g rice flour
100 g roughly chopped haselnuts (almonds, walnuts, etc.)
120 g mixed dried fruits (raisins, cranberries, etc.)
200 g bitter chocolate
30 g coconut oil
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F. Line the 20×35 cm rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt the coconut oil and honey on low heat. Blend rolled oats and rice flour in your food processor for a pulse or two to grind them finer but not fine as flour. Pour coconut oil mix over the oats and rice flour and combine thoroughly. Add haselnuts, dried fruits, mix well and spread it on baking sheet. Bake fo 35 mins. When cooled, melt chocolate and coconut oil together and pour over the granola bars. Cool in the refridgerator for a few hours till chocolate gets firm enough to cut. Serve with love and don’t eat it all, rather share! 🙂