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Goji Cherry Granola Bars

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aw vegan gluten-free Goji Cherry Granola Bars in a tin container

~ raw, vegan, gluten-free ~

Goji berries and cherries deserve to be “grafted” together because the combination creates such a delicious flavor. Goji berries on their own have a distinct taste reminiscent of cranberry.  When you combine that with the sweetness of the cherry… well, it’s a perfect balance. If you ask me that is. :)

The Superfood Goji Berry

Sometimes called at the Red Raisin, these nutrient-dense berries look like a raisin wrapped in a red jacket. You might hear some refer to them as wolfberries.  On their own, I was never really a big fan of them.  I wanted to be… they are so popular and are supposed to be so good for you. But every time I tried one, I would spit it out. So for years, I gave them a pass.

One thing that I can appreciate about my taste buds is that they never say “never.” They might stand up and put their foot down when I insert certain foods in my mouth… but eventually they come around.  As they mature, they seem to be much more welcoming to new and different flavors.

I can’t say that I am yet a huge fan of goji berries on their own, but I do love them in recipes… this granola bar is one of them. I whipped these up and shipped them off to my long-haul trucking dad.  He needs foods that are filled with nutrients, a good source of fiber, and high in antioxidants. I don’t want him motoring down road munching on empty calories and nutrient-void foods… so I do my best to keep him stocked with healthier foods.  I later got a call from him letting me know that these have been one of his favorite bars to date. :)

According to a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, goji berry benefits include experiencing … “increase ratings for energy level, athletic performance, quality of sleep, ease of awakening, ability to focus on activities, mental acuity, improved regularity of gastrointestinal function, significantly reduced fatigue and stress. 

After learning this, I knew this was precisely how I want my dad to be as the endless miles of pavement pass beneath his 18 wheels.  I am not saying that this bar alone will bring all that to him, but we have to start somewhere. I am planting little health seeds within him, with every bite he takes. It’s time to get busy now. I am sending you kitchen blessings, and please be sure to leave a comment below. I love hearing from you. amie sue



  1. In a food processor,  fitted with the “S” blade, combine the; diced apples, pitted dates, sweetener, lemon juice, ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, salt. Process until completely broken down.
    • If the dates are tough and dry, please rehydrate them in enough warm water to cover them for about 15 minutes.  Be sure to drain the excess water before adding the dates to the recipe.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the almonds, pecans, and sunflower seeds to the food processor.  Coarsely chop the nuts and seeds in a few quick pulses.
  4. Add them to the bowl with the apple mixture
  5. Add the dried cherries, goji berries, and orange zest. Combine well.
    • If the dried fruits are hard, re-hydrate in enough warm water to soften them, be sure to drain and discard the soak water before adding to the food processor.
    • Option – you can throw them in the food processor and break them down some.  I did this.

Shape and dehydrate:

  1. To press into bar shapes.
    • I used my sushi press, found (here).  Click (here) on how to shape the perfect bar,
    • Or you can: Pour the batter into a parchment paper-lined baking sheet with an edge, spread out, place another sheet of parchment paper on top, and using the same sized cookie sheet I placed another on top and pressed down firmly.
    • Place the cookie sheets in the freezer to firm up the bars for approx. 1 hour.  About the time it takes to clean up the kitchen. :)
    • Remove the bars when nice and cold; this will help you score them into the desired shapes.
    • Remove the top cookie sheet and flip the batter onto the countertop.  The batter should still be sandwiched in parchment paper.
    • Using a knife (be sure to protect your countertop) cut through the parchment paper, cutting the bar batter in half.
    • Remove the top parchment paper and using either a knife or cookie cutter, score the bars into the desired shape.
  2. Place the individual bars on the mesh sheet that comes with the dehydrator.
  3. Slide the tray into the dehydrator and dehydrate at 145 degrees (F) for 1 hour, then reduce to 115 degrees (F)  for approx. 16 hours.
  4. Store in an airtight container and place in the fridge.  These will freeze well too.
  5. Option: You could make cookie shapes with this batter as well.  Using an ice scoop in any size.  Follow the same directions for dehydrating and storing.  One other option is to spread the batter out thinly on the non-stick sheets that come with your dehydrator and make granola out of it.


  1. Store in airtight mason jars for 2-3 weeks, maybe longer or shorter.
  2. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Culinary Explanations:

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