My youngest starts her new school on Tuesday! Wait, where did the summer go? Ha! Well I’ve had healthy snacking ideas on the brain as this time of year approaches and whipped up a batch of these clean eating granola bars that you can customize to your taste or exactly what your kids love! Face it, granola bars from the grocery store are packed with ingredients that you can’t pronounce or don’t want to eat. So why eat it? These bars take minutes to make and last all week or longer (in the freezer). These are the best tasting granola bars you’ll taste, I promise!! Snacking, breakfast on-the-go… perfect. Mine are chilling now and I can’t wait to have one.
1 heaping cup of dates (Medjool or other fancy pitted dates)
1 cup of whole almonds, raw
1 1/3 cup of rolled oats (I used organic gluten free but regular rolled oats are fine)
1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
1/4 cup of almond butter (or whatever nut butter you have) I used Justin’s maple almond butter
1/4 cup of Vermont maple syrup (you can substitute agave or honey)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (I used vanilla paste)
Optional: Pretzel pieces, chocolate chips, chia seeds, flax seeds, dried fruit
Into your food processor, add the pitted dates and process for about 30-45 seconds or until they break down and then roll up into a large ball. Remove and place in your stand mixer with the paddle attached. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet with sides, add the oats (one side) and your almonds (on the other). Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just toasted. Give the almonds a chance to cool down a bit and then roughly chop them. Add the oats and nuts to your dates in the stand mixer bowl. Add the sea salt. Mix until combined.
On the stovetop in a small sauce pan, add the nut butter, vanilla and syrup over low heat and whisk until melted and smooth. Pour over the oat mixture and blend again until well coated. Add your additional toppings here. I used dark chocolate chips.
Now to prep your baking dish. Line a 9×9 or 8×8 pan with parchment or wax paper making sure to have overhang on both sides for easy removal. Pour out the granola bar mixture over top. Using another smaller piece of parchment, push down the mixture until it is flat and uniform throughout the pan. Then refrigerate until firm – 30-45 minutes. Remove from the pan and slice into bars. Keep in the refrigerator for optimum freshness.
— Knead to Cook