What happens when you take 9 ingredients, mix them all up and cut them into bars or two bite treats? I ended up with a delicious and wholesome granola bar!
I have tried making granola bars before and I remember, at one point in my life, being fascinated with grape nuts. I was in graduate school and going through several cereal phases. On the back of the box was a recipe for ‘energy bars’…and one of those ingredients was corn syrup along with a lot of sugar.
I toasted a handful of walnuts, wheat germ and rolled oats until slightly golden brown. Next time, I will toast longer…I was preoccupied, and worried about burning my ingredients!
There are two main wet ingredients for this recipe. Above you see melted all natural peanut butter with flax, maple syrup, cinnamon, cardamom and a bit of vanilla extract. The next photo shows a date paste. That is right…I took pitted dates, softened them in hot water and blitzed them in the food processor.
<< Pureed Date Paste Photo. jpg>> (remember I was preoccupied?)
I added in a handful of raisins for good measure. And that is it. I pressed the mixture into an 8X8 pan, chilled and voila. The original recipe called for more syrup. I cut back on the syrup as I figured the dates and raisins would add natural sweetness. This bar is not an overly sweet bar at all, yet it has so much flavor happening you probably will not miss it.
High five, we just made homemade granola bars that are vegan friendly, take about 30 minutes and will leave you feeling like a rockstar in the kitchen! Thanks for reading!!!
- Recipe adapted from The Minimalist Baker
- 1 C. rolled oats
- 1/2 C. wheat germ
- 1/4 C. chopped walnuts
- Scant cup of dates (soaked if they appear a bit dry)
- 1/4 C. peanut butter
- 1/8 - 1/4 C. maple syrup (use 1/4 C. for a sweeter bar)
- 1/2 t. cinnamon
- 1/2 t. cardamom
- 1/2 t. vanilla extract
- 1/4 C. raisins
- Optional: Add in other ingredients as you wish - mini chocolate chips, other dried fruits, nuts, pumpkin seeds, coconut...endless possiblilties
- Preheat the oven to 350*.
- Line an 8X8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- On a large, ungreased baking sheet mix together the oats, wheat germ and walnuts.
- Toast this in the preheated oven for 10 - 15 minutes, tossing the mixture around occasionally until golden brown. Be careful, this can go from toasty golden to burned very quickly.
- Set the oat mixture aside until cooled.
- If your dates are on the dry side, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes or so to soften them.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the dates (free of extra water) and process until smooth and creamy.
- In a small bowl combine the peanut butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, cardamom, and vanilla extract. Put this in the microwave and melt in 30 second intervals, stopping to stir well, until a smooth consistency is reached.
- In a large bowl combine the oats, the peanut butter mixture, the dates and raisins (or any other add ins of your choice).
- Mix this together until completely combined. Turn out into the prepared pan. Press the mixture firmly into the pan (you may find wet hands work easier here). Chill the mixture in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. Cut into 10 bars. Store the bars in either the fridge or freezer.