5-Ingredient Granola Bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
- 1 heaping cup packed dates (pitted / deglet noor or medjool)*
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
- 1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter
- 1 cup roasted unsalted almonds (loosely chopped / see instructions for roasting nuts)
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- Chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc. (optional additions)
- Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a "dough" like consistency.
Optional step: Toast your oats (and almonds if raw) in a 350° F (176° C) oven for 10-15 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw. Some people prefer the toasted flavor.
- Place oats, almonds and dates in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Warm maple syrup (or agave or honey) 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 8x8-inch baking dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily. (A loaf pan might work, but will yield thicker bars. Adjust size of pan if altering batch size.)
- Press down firmly until uniformly flattened. You can use something flat, like a drinking glass, to press down and really pack the bars, which helps them hold together better.
- Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let firm up in fridge or 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.
*Although not ideal, if your dates don't feel sticky and moist, you can soak them in water for 10 minutes then drain before processing. This will help them blend better and hold the bars together better. But ideally, you can find fresh, sticky moist dates.
Per serving: 231 calories; 6g protein; 34g carbohydrates; 20g sugar; 4g fiber
Recipe source: https://www.minimalistbaker.com