Granola bars are a quick and easy on the go snack, but many brands that you buy at the grocery store are filled with processed sugars, preservatives, and a whole host of unknown ingredients that are difficult to pronounce. This recipe is a great snack option that is both nutritious, filling, and as easily taken on the road as a store bought granola bar.
These granola bars are weekly staple in our house. They take about 20 minutes to mix up and do not require any baking. We make up a quadruple batch to last us the whole week!
How to Make Granola Bars
These granola bars are made 7 simple ingredients and you can easily substitute any other common granola bar ingredients to achieve your favorite granola bar flavors. Simply, mix all the ingredients together and voila, you have a hearty snack! The list of ingredients includes:
- Coconut Flakes
- Nuts (we like to use almonds and walnuts)
- Peanut Butter (or another kind of nut butter)
- Honey or Maple Syrup
Tips and Tricks for Easy and Flavorful Granola Bars
Toast the oats. Toasting the oats add a depth of flavor. Place the oats on a baking sheet and toast them for 10-15 minutes at 375 degrees while mixing together the other ingredients. Cook with your nose here. When I start smelling the toasted oats, I know they are ready to be added the mix.
Process the dates and coconut flakes together. Homemade granola bars are notorious for falling apart easily. The dates in this recipe are key for holding them together and provide a delicious natural sweetness. By throwing the dates and coconut flakes into the blender or food processor together, it will keep the paste from sticking to the sides and blades and make it much easier to transfer them to a bowl. Process until the mixture becomes a ball which will take about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Mix as you go. If you wait until after you’ve added all the ingredients to stir, you will be in for a serious arm workout. Combine the date mixture and nuts first, then stir in the the oats. By the time you add in the peanut butter and honey, mixing is 10x easier!
Don’t heat your honey. If you decide to use honey rather than maple syrup, make sure not to heat it. It may be tempting to heat it up to make it more liquid and easier to stir into the mixture, raw honey has over 5000 natural enzymes including an amylase to make your food more easily digested and antioxidants that pull toxins from your body. Heating raw honey to temperatures higher than 110 degrees will cause those enzymes to break down, losing their benefit. Adding the honey in at room temperature does not make it any more difficult to combine the mixture.
Salt is the game changer! You may think what difference does a little salt make? In my opinion, it is a total game changer. It enlivens the simple ingredients and makes the flavors pop.
Wet your hands when working with the mixture. By making your hands wet when working with the mixture, it will keep it from sticking to them and also adds minimal amounts of water which helps bind the bars together better.
Easy storage. You can store them in the freezer for about a month. However, they rarely last more than a week at our house, so we just keep ours out on the counter top.
How to Make Granola Bars More Digestible
For many people, eating granola bars can feel like a gut bomb since they contain a a lot of fiber and foods that are challenging to digest. Here are a few suggestions to make your granola bars more digestible.
Use sprouted oats and nuts. Oats and nuts can be difficult for the body to breakdown and digest to access their vitamins and minerals. Sprouted oats and nuts, on the other hand, contain less phytic acid which making them easier to digest and improve the bioavailability of the vitamins and minerals.
Choose local raw honey. As I said earlier, raw honey contains an amylase that starts breaking down food the second is comes into contact with it. The use of raw honey will aid your body in the digestion process.
Quick and Healthy Granola Bars
- 1.5 cup Oats (GF, sprouted)
- 1 heaping cup Dates (Medjool, pitted)
- 1 tbsp Coconut Flakes
- 1 cup Roasted Almonds (can substitute other nuts and seeds)
- 1/4 cup Creamy Natural Peanut or Almond Butter
- 1/4 cup Honey or Maple Syrup (maple syrup if vegan)
- Pinch of Salt
- Place oats on a baking sheet and toast in oven at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until they are just beginning to to turn brown and give off a toasted scent.
- Add dates and coconut flakes to a food processor and process until the mixture becomes a ball. This will take about 1 minute. Place in large mixing bowl.
- Place peanut butter in a sauce pan and warm on a low heat until creamy.
- Coarsely chop almonds, add them to the date mixture, and combine. Stir oats into the mixture of dates, coconut flakes, and almonds.
- Add warmed peanut butter, honey, and salt and stir until in the mixture is well combined.
- Line an 8x8 baking pan with freezer or parchment paper. Wet hands and smooth mixture into pan evenly.
- Put in freezer for 15-20 minutes. Remove and cut into about 10 bars.
My favorite part about this recipe is how versatile it is. You can mix and match to find your favorite combination or just switch things up on occasion. This combination is the one we have settled on but feel free to make the recipe your own!