Whether at home or on the go, these chewy, no-bake granola bars offer the perfect combination of convenience, nutrition, and taste. Made to suit a variety of diets, they are also gluten-free, vegan, and peanut-free.
I am a sucker for a good granola bar. For one, granola bars are a combination of some of my favorite health foods: oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Two, they are the ultimate convenience food, perfect for when I need a super quick snack after exercising or to stash in my bag when out doing errands, or, preferably, enjoying the outdoors. And three, they just taste so good!
And although it’s easy to purchase a bunch of granola bars at the store (which I sometimes do, because I am busy and my boys are hungry!) nothing beats the taste of a homemade granola bar. Not to mention that you can make them with less processed ingredients and added sugar.
While my family loves my homemade chocolate chip granola bars, these chewy, no-bake granola bars are even more up my ally. I love that they are filled with so many healthful ingredients and I love, love that there is no oven time required, making them well suited for hot, summer cooking.
Most granola bars (and cereals) are quite energy dense, and this recipe is no exception. So while this makes them the perfect fuel for those in need of calories, just pay attention to your serving size. Unlike most store-bought granola bars, this recipe contains no refined sugars, but it’s still plenty sweet thanks to the maple syrup and natural sugar found in the dates and dried cherries.
Nutritional highlights of these bars include:
- Very high in magnesium (an important mineral that many people don’t get enough of*)
- High in fiber
- Good source of healthy fat
- Good source of protein
*Read more about magnesium here: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/magnesium
One of the best parts of this recipe is that you can customize it to your liking. No pumpkin seeds on hand? Make them with sunflower seeds. Not a fan of almond butter? Go for peanut or sunflower seed butter. Kids prefer chocolate chips to dried fruit? Then go ahead and substitute some chocolate chips (preferably dark) for the dried cherries. (Yes, I am thinking of my own kids as I write that last example!)
So add the below ingredients to your next shopping list and give these chewy, no-bake granola bars a try. I hope you like them as much as I do!
- 1 cup fresh Medjool dates, pitted
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup almond butter
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup plain almonds, roughly chopped
- ½ cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup gluten-free oats
- ¼ cup dried cherries
- Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper.
- Place dates in a food processor and process until a sticky ball starts to form. You may need to stop and scrape the sides down a couple of times.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine maple syrup, almond butter, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, combine dates, almonds, pumpkin seeds, oats, and dried cherries. Pour over the almond butter and maple syrup mixture and stir until well mixed.
- Transfer mixture to the lined pan. Press down firmly with the back of a spatula until compacted. Transfer to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Cut into bars.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freeze.