No Bake Granola Bars
I love granola bars, not sure about you......I love KIND bars, KASHI bars (sea salt & chocolate) and even the Nature Valley crapola, the sticky kind.....these are the few pre-made snacks I buy.
I always have a few in my purse for hunger pangs....usually happening while I am driving around 3 pm.
Here is a fabulous recipe for no bake granola bars. Healthy as you want them to be.......I added chocolate chips, just a few, cause I like that little bite of chocolate surprise.
You can use whatever nuts you like......I added in some unsweetened coconut and organic maple syrup........however, I USED SKIPPY PEANUT BUTTER!
Anytime I use it, I get emails "how can use that peanut butter?"...."it's not organic, it's not vegan, it's loaded with sugar and oil; it's made by an evil corporation....blah blah".
I grew up on Skippy, and nothing has happened to me....yet.
If you don't make your own nut butters at home, then please don't email me.
And though I do my best to eat healthy, locally grown, in season only vegetables and non-processed foods.....I do buy commercially made mayonnaise, peanut butter, condiments and cereal.
I hope you will still like me.
Here's the recipe.......adapted from Minimalist Baker.
These are easy and delicious.
No Bake Granola Bars:
1 heaping cup packed pitted dates (deglet nour or medjool) (I buy Anna Sarah brand, organic & no sulphur dioxide added)
1/4 cup organic maple syrup, agave nectar, or honey
1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter
1 cup roasted unsalted almonds loosely chopped
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (I use Kings Own Brand Organic Oats)
optional additions: chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, coconut, vanilla, etc.
Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a "dough" like consistency. (Mine rolled into a ball.)
Optional step: Toast your oats (and almonds if raw) in a 350 degree F (176 C) oven for 10-15 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw.
Place oats, almonds and dates in a large mixing bowl, set aside.
Warm honey (I used maple syrup) and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
Stir and pour over the 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.
Press down firmly until uniformly flattened, I used the palm of my hand to press down.
Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let firm up in fridge or freezer for 20 minutes.
Remove bars from pan and slice into squares or rectangles. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days.
The original recipe recommends keeping in the freezer for freshness. They thaw quickly and are still chewy from the freezer. I liked them frozen the best!