Have you ever made granola bars that were so good you couldn’t stop eating them? Yeah, these are those granola bars. I have been loving making variations of our Healthy 5-ingredient Granola Bars. They’re so simple, quick and satisfying, I can’t help but dream up new flavors. Chocolate Chip Almond Butter? Yep. Healthy Brownie? Uh huh. Super Mega Seedy? Yeah, this is happening. It starts with seeds, and lots of them! Seeds are an essential part of a plant-based diet. They’re like little nutritional powerhouses.
- For instance, flax and chia seed are incredibly high in fiber and healthy fats, including Omega 3s.
- Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin E, magnesium and selenium – nutrients that protect virtually every square inch of our bodies.
- And hemp seeds – the healthiest of the bunch – are a complete protein, loaded with Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and contain all 19 essential amino acids, which are essential for optimum health.
What’s not to love about these bars? Oh, and I didn’t even talk about the oats and nuts! So many nutrients. These bars get their sweetness from two sources: dates and agave nectar – two sweeteners found in nature that I love using in place of processed sugar whenever possible. The combination of the two not only provides an irresistibly sweet bite, but also acts as the glue that holds it all together. My favorite part about making these? You get to use your hands and feel like a kid again. I love using my hands to mix the wet with the dry ingredients. Even though my hands are a sticky mess afterwards, it’s so worth it. Look at these beauties! You’re going to love these bars. They’re:
Crunchy in all the right places
Loaded with good-for-you ingredients
& Ridiculously delicious
These bars are perfect to make ahead of time for snacking when you’re short on time. I like to keep a batch in my freezer in case I have to run out the door and know I’ll be hungry later. Please tell me I’m not the only childless person who packs snacks for outings? Please?
If you make this recipe, be sure to let me know in the comments! Or, take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram. I want to know if it’s love at first bite (which, I suspect it will be). Cheers!
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free for GF eaters)
- 1/2 cup raw almonds, walnuts, or pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 heaping (seriously) packed cup dates, pitted (deglet noor or medjool)*
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
- 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds (roasted or raw)
- 2 Tbsp flax seeds (ground or whole)
- 2 Tbsp hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
- 1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter
- Chocolate chips, dried fruit, other nuts, banana chips, etc.
- Toast your oats and almonds in a 350-degree F (176 C) oven for 13-15 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
- 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)
- Place oats, almonds and dates in a large mixing bowl. Add seeds and set aside.
- Warm agave and peanut or almond butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout. Use a spoon or your hands to thoroughly mix.
- Transfer to an 8×8 dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily. (Or use 2/3 of a 9×13.)
- Cover with parchment or plastic wrap and press down with something flat, such as a book, to get them really packed tight. This will help them from being crumbly. Chill in the fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden.
- Remove bars from dish and chop into 10 even bars. 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.
*Adapted from my 5 ingredient granola bars