Bryan and I love granola bars- we are both BIG TIME snackers. Unfortunately, I hate buying them at the store. Why, you ask?
A few reasons…
1- because they are expensive.
2- because they have sooooo many ingredients that I can’t begin to pronounce.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a BIG ingredients person. I hate putting things into my body when I don’t know what they are and can’t even begin to pronounce them.
But that’s just me…
I know I can be a bit wordy at times but the moral of this wordy story is that I decided I should start making my own granola bars (and other snacks) at home. I mean, it can’t be that hard, right? The ingredients are so simple, so how hard can it be?
This recipe proves that it’s really not very difficult.
A few simple (and healthy) ingredients is all you need.
Dates are the super power, then you add some peanut butter, vanilla (optional) almonds, oats, pumpkin seeds, maple syrup and a little love and you’re set.
That’s it. Just 7 (8 if you include the love) ingredients, no baking involved (unless you want to toast the oats and almonds) and they’ll keep in the freezer for-everrrrr – if you can resist eating them all at once.
If you’re on a gluten free diet, simply use gluten free oats. And if you’re trying to make these vegan, stick with maple syrup over honey. Simple. Delicious.
Speaking of delicious, these little bars are dreamy.
Bryan deemed them wholesome.
They are the perfect bar for a hearty snack because they keep you full for awhile and don’t give you a sugar overload. Plus, they pack in plenty of healthy fats from the almonds and peanut butter, and lots of fiber from the oats. On top of that, you can pronounce all of the ingredients and most of you probably have them stowed away in your kitchen cabinets somewhere.
Win – win.
Afternoon and mid-morning snack, solved.
Simple Homemade Granola Bars
Yield: 10 bars
- 1 cup packed dates, pitted (I used medjool)
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup or honey
- 1/4 cup creamy salted peanut butter
- 1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten free for GF eaters)
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (or sunflower)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
- pinch of sea salt
- optional add-ins: chocolate chips, dried fruit etc.
- Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute).
- Place oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, optional vanilla, salt and dates in a large mixing bowl – set aside.
- Warm maple syrup and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.
- Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8-inch baking dish or other small pan lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper so they lift out easily.
- Press down firmly until uniformly flattened.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let firm up in freezer for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days.
As always, enjoy!
Hope everyone is having a nice weekend so far. After my crazy week, I’m enjoying some much needed R & R today.