Granola Bars

Yay granola bars! I love anything that tastes like dessert and has chocolate.

I found this recipe on Unsweetened Caroline’s site. All of her recipes are added sugar-free. That means she doesn’t add any type of sweetener. The only ingredient that makes her recipes sweet are fruits. That is so interesting to me! This particular recipe, granola bars, is sweetened only by dates. Dates are a really sweet tasting fruit.

Foods like fruit, milk, and yogurt contain natural sugar. I think it is important to get sugar from a variety of sources in your diet. When I’m baking I like to switch up the types of sweeteners I use to get a variety of vitamins and minerals. I rotate using coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey, dates, apple sauce, bananas and more. I’ve only used dates an handful of times because it’s hard for me to find dates that are not manufactured with other tree nuts. I have an anaphylactic allergy to cashews and pistachios. This week I’m switching it up and getting some sweetness from dates! Surprisingly, I found some nut free ones at Marshall’s.

Why is this granola bar ahhhhmazing you ask? Well…

First, this recipe is super simple and quick. It’s no-bake so you can eat it right out of your dish 🙂 You’ll probably have everything you need in your pantry. Unless you don’t have dates. Go get some dates. If you end up having extra dates, stuff them with nut butter and enjoy for a snack.

Second, I’d say this is the ideal granola bar. We’ve got a combination of complex carbohydrates from the oats to give you lasting energy and simple carbohydrates from the dates do give you a quick boost of energy. In addition, the oats, nuts and seeds contain loads of fiber, healthy fats and protein to keep you full and satisfied.

Pro tip: Store your nuts and seeds in the fridge or freezer to extend shelf life. Their high fat content can cause them to go rancid at room temperature resulting in a bitter taste.

So, before I give you the recipe let me tell you that you can individualize this recipe to what you have in your pantry. You can swap out nuts for other seeds and such like chia, flax, peanuts, walnuts and more. The orginal recipe calls for 1/2 cup of walnuts. I used 1/4 cup almonds and 1/4 cup hazelnuts instead.

Recipe from Unsweetened Caroline: 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 1/2 cups sprouted rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup hemp heart seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt (omit if your nuts are salted)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of water
  • 1/4-1/2 cup dark chocolate for topping, melted

Directions from Unsweeteded Caroline:

  1. In a food processor or blender, add the dates and blend until they are chopped.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients, except the water, until combined.
  3. Blend in some water just until the mixture is able to stick together.
  4. Press the mixture into a dish. Top with melted chocolate!
  5. Store in the fridge or freezer.

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