On this splendid Friday we’re taking on the snack attack with the classic chewy granola bar. Portable, healthy food is a must for a busy, active, health-centric lifestyle. Granola bars can be a great go-to, but the packaged version is often accompanied by some sneaky ingredients (i.e. hydrogenated oils, aka trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and goodness knows what else). So, let’s take it back to the good old fashioned granola bar. With just a short list of ingredients – oats, oil, nuts, dates, seeds, and a few extras – these Chewy Granola Bars work their magic to hold you over until meal time.
CHEWY GRANOLA BARS
Yields ~ 12 bars
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup raw or roasted, unsalted nuts (almonds or peanuts)
- 1 Tbsp. chai seeds
- 1/4 tsp. pink salt
- 1/4 cup nut butter (almond, peanut, etc.)
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups Medjool dates (for date paste – see directions below)
- 2 cups filtered water
- 2 Tbsp. liquid sweetener (agave or maple syrup), optional
- Extras: cacao nibs, chocolate chips, raisins, goji berries, coconut, etc.
For Date Paste: By Whole Foods Explorer
- Remove the stems and seeds from the dates and place in a bowl. Cover the dates with enough water to just cover the dates and let soak for about an hour.
- After an hour, drain the dates and reserve the soaking liquid.
- Place the dates in a blender, preferably a smaller blender jar for this amount. Process the dates, adding the soaking liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is smooth, but still thick. This will require 1/4 to 1/2 cup of soaking liquid depending on the type of dates, freshness of the dates and the length of time they soaked.
For Granola Bars:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line two pans with parchment paper:
- One baking sheet for oats.
- One baking pan (a bread pan for thicker bars or a larger pan for thinner bars) for granola bar mixture.
- Pour oats into lined baking sheet. Bake for ~10 minutes until lightly toasted.
- In an oven-safe, glass measuring cup (Pyrex) combine nut butter and coconut oil. Place in the oven for a couple minutes until oil melts and nut butter becomes soft.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine melted oil/nut butter mixture, date paste, vanilla extract, and liquid sweetener (optional).
- In a separate bowl, combine toasted rolled oats, nuts, chia seeds, and pink salt. Then, add to liquid mixture in large bowl.
- Fold in extras.
- Test mixture to be sure it’s sticky. If too dry, add additional nut butter and/or liquid sweetener.
- Pour granola bar mixture into the second lined baking dish and place another piece of parchment paper on top. Smooth and spread mixture until evenly pressed into the pan.
- Place in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes (to harden) then cut into even-sized bars.
- Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.
- I haven’t tried freezing these, but they’d probably hold up well in the freezer for at least a month.
Have a great Friday!
Gumsaba Outdoor Fitness Class schedule Saturday 5/30/15
8:30AM Sunshine Walnut Creek Co-Ed class – Coach Briana – Met Con Madness