By 300 Sandwiches
I’ve tried to make homemade granola bars several times. But I couldn’t get them to form into bars, and was left with …well, granola. I used the oat mixture to top my Greek yogurt for months instead. Over the weekend, I thought I’d found the recipe that finally held the oats, chocolate chips and nuts in bar form. Most of the bars held together once wrapped in plastic wrap, but they were still crumbly.
Finally, this morning, I figured out what I was missing: dates. DATES, y’all.
They’re in most recipes, like this one, that I’ve found for granola bars for a reason. The sticky, sweet fruit is the perfect edible glue. I had been omitting it from my granola bars because of sheer laziness. I thought peanut butter and honey would be enough of an adhesive. Nope, I needed dates. And we had dates here in the cupboard all. This. Time.
I made 9 solid but chewy bars this morning for breakfast, proud and relieved that I’d finally cracked the granola bar code. Now, I only have 6 bars left.
Therein lie a different problem: enjoying too many granola bars at once.
1 cup dates, pitted
1 cup rolled oats*
1 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup pecans
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1/3 cup almond butter
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1/3 cup chocolate chips
*If desired, you can toast oats on a baking sheet at 350 degrees before using. It adds flavor, but it’s not necessary.
Place dates in a food processor and chop into small bits. You want to make a paste from the dates. Remove from food processor and place in large bowl. Add oats, pecans and almonds in bowl. Melt honey and almond butter together in a small bowl or saucepan until warm (I popped mine in the microwave for about 30 seconds), mix well with spoon, then add to large bowl. Add chia seeds and chocolate chips. Mix until well combined. Butter an 8×8 pan, or line it with parchment paper. Scoop out the granola mixture onto the pan and smooth out to uniform rectangle shape of about 1 inch thickness or so. Place in refrigerator for about 10 minutes to help set. Remove, and cut into bars. Enjoy!
The Minimalist Baker also knows how to do granola bars right. I followed their base, then added my own flair.by