Our family has a thing for granola bars. They are a great, convenient fuel for when you are on the go. During the winter, the girls usually take a few as a quick snack when they are on the slopes and in the summer, they are a great quick snack for summer camp! They are easy to carry and filling. I will usually grab a bar for a quick on the go breakfast. Of course, store bought ones are not always the healthiest since they are often loaded with sugar and high in fat. Or if you find healthy versions of store bought bars, they are usually dry and not that tasty.
Then I discovered how easy it was to make homemade granola bars and how good they tasted ... I've been obsessed with making them ever since. The best thing with making your own is that you control the type/amount of sugar and the ingredients that go into them. Now you can have healthy AND tasty granola bars.
Here is the basic recipe, but feel free to change it up with different grains, different nuts, and add extras!
1. Process dates in a food processor until it is dough like consistency.
2. Toast oats at 350 degrees F for about 10 - 15 minutes or until golden brown. This step is optional, you can skip toasting the oats if you want, but I find that toasted tastes soooo much better.
3. Put oats, almonds, flax/chia/hemp seed mix with processed dates in a bowl.
4. Warm honey and almond butter in a small sauce pan on low heat until melted and mixed together.
5. Pour the honey / almond butter mixture over the oat mixture and mix it all up. I usually use my hands to make sure all the ingredients are mixed well.
6. Once everything is mixed, you want to transfer to a parchment lined 8x8 baking dish.
7. Press down firmly so that it is all uniformly flattened.
8. Cover up with parchment paper and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes
9. Remove bars from pan and chop into even bars or squares and you are set.
The recipe is easy to customize. You can swap out the almond butter for peanut butter, then add 1/4 cup chocolate chips and 1/4 cup banana chips and you have ... Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bar :)
Let me know if you try this recipe and what you think! Or if you have a favorite granola bar recipe that you want to share...