I really have no talent for making granola bars. I have made countless recipes that just never worked out; either the bars would crumble apart, bake unevenly or simply taste weird. There are so many occasions where I would admit defeat and crumble my granola “bars” on a baking sheet and bake it into a granola instead. However, when I made these granola bars the other night, I died and went to heaven after seeing how PERFECT the consistency of these bars were.
Since I suck so bad at making granola bars, I couldn’t just invent a recipe, so the original recipe from which I inspired myself from can be found on minimalist baker’s blog. She has really awesome recipes never containing more than 10 ingredients, which is amazing.
For my little spin off of this recipe, I decided to add a variety of nuts, grains and seeds to make an interesting combination while also delivering a nutritious punch. This combo will keep you feeling energized and full making it the perfect afternoon snack.
The bars hold together thanks to a mixture of dates, almond butter and honey. Dates are seriously awesome, they’ve got a super sweet caramel taste but are completely natural. Plus, they have a good amount of fiber along with the other ingredients in these bars, making for a lasting snack. These bars were approved even by my boyfriend, who hates dates! I had to avoid telling him what the bars were made of before he tasted them, but he ended up loving them! These are also packed with millet, roasted sunflower seeds and sliced almonds, which gives these energy bars a desirable crunch and a prominent nutty flavor. If you aren’t familiar with millet, it’s a small round grain that is low in fat but quite high in protein and fiber. This nutritional combination is another reason why these bars will attend to all of your energy needs!
These bars are the perfect grab and go snack and are super nutritious. The store bought varieties offer far less nutrition and contain a much longer list of ingredients, including way more fat and sugar! Plus, these bars are so quick to make, meaning you can prepare a quick batch and have snacks for the whole week! Win!!
No Bake Nutty Energy Bars
Makes 8 bars
1 cup dates, packed and pitted
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup almond butter (or any nut butter)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup sliced or whole almonds
1/4 cup millet
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1. In a food processor, process the dates to form a sticky paste. The dates will not completely purée but will form small pieces that will stick together and form a ball.
2. Add the processed dates, honey and almond butter to a large bowl. Before mixing, microwave the mixture for 20 seconds in order to loosen up the dates. Mix thoroughly.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until all the ingredients are incorporated in the sticky mixture. This part is slightly messy and I ended up just mixing with my hands.
4. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and place the mixture in the pan. Evenly distribute it and pack down firmly.
5. Place in freezer for 15 minutes and cut into 8 bars. Store bars in refrigerator.
Note: the mix becomes slightly dry but all the ingredients should be evenly mixed in. If the mix is still very sticky, add more oats, almonds, millet or seeds (whatever you prefer) to ensure the batter isn’t too sticky.
Remember that the add-ins for this granola bar recipe can be completely up to you. You can add coconut, chocolate chips, dried fruits and various other nuts, grains or seeds. The recipe can adapt to anything you might have in your own pantry! However, don’t try substituting the honey for maple syrup…. It just won’t work, trust me.
Hope you enjoy these and let me know if you try them out! 🙂