If you’re looking for a protein-packed snack, I’ve got you covered with these Nutty Granola Bars. Oats, peanut butter, nuts, and dried fruit come together quickly. Whether you need a quick breakfast on the go or an afternoon pick me up, you’ll be glad to have these bars on hand.
There is an adorable baby asleep on my shoulder as I edit photos and write this blog post. The Brewers are playing a day game, so that’s the soundtrack for my work. It’s a beautiful day, so I’ve got the door open to let in cool, fresh air. If I weren’t so tired (my eyes keep fluttering shut), I’d say the afternoon is perfect.
Aside from a nap, there only a couple things that could make my day for delightful. I’d love to be working from the deck, but the table we got was damaged, so I’m waiting for it to be replaced. It would be pretty great to have Steve and my big girls home. I can’t complain, though. I got to hear the kiddos playing during recess when I was out on the porch earlier. And Steve worked from home yesterday. It’s always a treat to have him around. I sure could use a Nutty Granola Bar (or three) for an afternoon snack. Too bad we ate them all during our road trip last weekend.
These granola bars are easy to make. You puree a few dates with water. Then add them to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix. Press the mixture into a cake pan and bake for a bit. Let the bars cool, cut them, and you’ve got delicious, preservative-free granola bars to munch on.
There is lots of room for improvisation with this recipe. I used peanut butter, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and dried cranberries. Think of all the ways you could change it up. Any nut butter would be delish. You could trade almonds and cashews for any nuts you love. Pistachios would be great; so would pecans. Or use mixed nuts for variety in each bite. Sunflower seeds or even toasted quinoa would be nice in place of the pumpkin seeds. Lots of dried fruits would be good. Dried apples would be wonderful paired with walnuts. Use pistachios, chopped dried apricots, and throw in a handful of shredded coconut. Raisins are a granola bar staple, while dried cherries would be tasty and less expected. Make the recipe as written, but throw in some chocolate chips to make them a bit sweeter. Or really indulge, by drizzling them with melted chocolate and cookie butter. This is the kind of versatile recipe that will let you please even the pickiest eater.
- 10 pitted dates
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 1/2 cups whole oats
- 1 1/4 cups finely chopped almonds
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped cashews
- 1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup liquid sweetener (maple syrup, honey, agave, etc)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch cake pan with parchment paper.
- 2. Combine the dates and water in a blender or food processor. Pulse until the dates are a smooth puree.
- 3. In a large bowl, combine the date puree and all other ingredients. Mix until everything is well incorporated and you have a stiff dough. I used my stand mixer for this step.
- 4. Press the dough into the cake pan, spreading it into an even layer.
- 5. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan, until room temperature, then cut into 12 bars.
- 6. Store in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to a week.