Sometimes you really just need a snack that has some serious staying power. And being that this is Minimalist Baker, you know I wanted something simple.
Healthy, no-bake granola bars with just 5 ingredients and a sweet, crunchy texture. Peanut butter and maple syrup complement each other perfectly in this ideal portable breakfast or snack.
Easy to make it , give it a try today:)
1 heaping cup packed dates (pitted // deglet noor or medjool)*
1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (or honey if not vegan)
1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter
1 cup roasted unsalted almonds (loosely chopped // see instructions for roasting nuts)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free for GF eaters)
Chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc. (optional additions)
Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a “dough” like consistency. (Mine rolled into a ball.)
Optional step: Toast your oats (and almonds if raw) in a 350-degree F (176 C) oven for 10-15 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw – I prefer the toasted flavor.
Place oats, almonds and dates in a large mixing bowl – set aside.
Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.
Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8-inch baking dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily. (A loaf pan might work, but will yield thicker bars // adjust size of pan if altering batch size).
Press down firmly until uniformly flattened – I use something flat, like a drinking glass, to press down and really pack the bars, which helps them hold together better.
Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let firm up in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes.
Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars (or 9 squares // as original recipe is written). Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. I kept mine in the freezer to keep them extra fresh, but it isn’t necessary.
*Although not ideal, if your dates don’t feel sticky and moist, you can soak them in water for 10 minutes then drain before processing. This will help them blend better and hold the bars together better. But ideally, you can find fresh, sticky moist dates. *Nutrition information is a rough estimate.