Granola Bars

It can be very tricky to find store-bought granola bars that don’t have loads of added sugars, and other unrecognizable ingredients. This recipe was born out of my frustration in finding a decent granola bar that met my nutritional standards, and didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Also, my boyfriend is training for an Ironman triathlon and he was getting tired of eating Cliff bars. So he was happy to test my granola bars during his long bike rides, and report back with a review. After a few rounds of baking, eating and tweaking, this is our favourite granola bar recipes so far.

Bars on plate


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30-35 minutes

Makes about 10 bars


Ingredients:

  • 8 medjool dates
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup cashews (or any nuts you like)
  • 2 egg whites (for vegan substitute: mix 1 tbsp ground flax seed with 2.5 tbsp water and let it thicken for 5 minutes) 
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey (optional)
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (optional, but delicious)
  • 1/3 cups dried cranberries

Instructions

Tip: Cut up the dates into quarters and soak them in a bowl of warm water. I would recommend doing this if you are using a magic bullet or a small food processor. It just softens the dates and makes them blend more easily. I learned this trick after I almost killed my magic bullet the first time I put dates in it!

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. Blend dates in food processor or magic bullet with 2 tbsp of water until they make a smooth paste.
  3. In a large bowl, mash the bananas first. Then add the rest of the ingredients and stir. I like to use my hands at the end to make sure everything gets evenly mixed, but not necessary, and very messy.
  4. Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 cake pan and press firmly to evenly flatten it into a ~1/2 inch thick slab. It will only fill up about 3/4 of the pan. This is fine, just press the exposed side to make an even edge.
  5. Bake at 325 F for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges start to brown.
  6. Let bars cool for 15 minutes in the pan. Then cut into slabs and remove with a spatula, then cut into bars, and cool fully.
  7. The bars will keep best in the freezer. Note: the chocolate chips will be hard if you eat the granola bars directly out of the freezer without letting them thaw for a few minutes.

Nutrition Information (per 1 bar): 219 calories, 7 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 5 g fibre, 8 g added sugar (if you add maple syrup), 9 g fat, 44 mg calcium, 1.4 mg iron, 336 mg potassium, 39 mg sodium.

Granola bars

 

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