No-Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

//No-Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

No-Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Are you ever in the mood for a sweet treat but have difficulty finding one that is nutritious and not processed? I remember being in elementary school and taking a granola bar every day for snack time. Well guess what? Homemade granola bars aren’t that difficult to make. The best part is, you can make them how you like  and you know everything that gets added in!

I’ve made a variety of granola bars over the years. They all typically have some variation of nuts, seeds, and oats, oftentimes with a liquid sweetener which helps them to stick. This is the first recipe I have encountered which uses dates for that purpose. Because they’re so sticky, and naturally add sweetness, dates are a great base ingredient to make various energy balls and bars. Additionally, they’re packed with nutrition!

These bars also contain oats, almonds, and sunflower seeds which add a good dose of fiber and heart-healthy omega-3s!

Because they have both dates and maple syrup, they’re a little bit on the sweeter side. But they’re perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth or balancing out a cup of coffee! They can also be great for a quick breakfast! The best part is, they can be prepared quickly and easily, and require no baking!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup raw slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter (make sure this is not sweetened)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 20 Medjool dates*, pitted and finely chopped (~ 3/4 cup packed) (soak these in hot water for 10 minutes prior to pitting and chopping)
  • optional: 2-3 Tbsp dried fruit, such as blueberries or strawberries (I used goji berries)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

Add oats, almonds, and sunflower seeds to large baking sheet. If sunflower seeds or almonds are already roasted, don’t put them on the pan and reserve to add later.

Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until light golden brown, stirring occasionally. In the last 5 minutes of baking, add the shredded coconut and stir. Once everything is light golden brown and toasty, remove from oven and set aside. **(Watch these closely so they don’e burn. You may need to rotate the baking sheet!).

In the meantime, add peanut butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup to a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat until melted, stirring to combine. Remove from heat when well-mixed and pourable – about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.

Add chopped dates, toasted oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit (optional) to a large mixing bowl and top with peanut butter mixture. Stir well to combine, using the spoon to mash the dates and make sure they’re evenly distributed – this will help the bars stick together.

Transfer mixture to prepared 8×8 dish (lined with parchment paper) and use a spatula to spread evenly and pack down. Pack tightly (I used a metal spatula to press everything down).Place in freezer for 30 minutes to set. Cut into bars (I cut into 4 squares, and each of those into 4 more to make 16 bars)

For best freshness, store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 1 month. I prefer mine in the freezer as they stay freshest that way.

2018-05-05T16:43:10+00:00