Healthy 5-Ingredient Granola Bars from the minimalist baker
• 1 cup packed dates, pitted (deglet nour or medjool)
• 1/4 cup honey (or sub maple syrup or agave for vegan option) (I used maple syrup)
• 1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter
• 1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped (I used 3/4 c walnuts instead, chopped in my ninja blender)
• 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten free for GF eaters)
• optional additions: chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc. (I used about 3/4 c organic banana chips, chopped in my ninja blender)
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 in a 350 degree oven for 15-ish minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw – I just prefer the toasted flavor.
Place oats, almonds and dates in a 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 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.)
Press down until uniformly flattened. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let set in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden.
Remove bars from pan 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.
Nutrition Information Serving size: 1 bar Calories: 217 Fat: 8 g Saturated fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 31 g Sugar: 19 g Fiber: 4 g Protein: 6 g