Every 6 months or so I venture to make my own granola bars. The first I made, which were simple but sugary, were these Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Granola Bars. Months later a friend turned me on to dates in baking and I tried these Cinnamon Walnut Date Balls. These were low in sugar but stored best in the freezer. I’ve tried some no bake, but for me they don’t seem to bind.
So, my goal is to create a granola bar that is low in sugar (i.e. honey, agave nectar) and doesn’t require any type of oil or butter (i.e. coconut oil, peanut butter, almond butter, apple butter) and doesn’t crumble upon the sight of a knife. Agh, what a challenge!
Result: They actually don’t need any sweetener!! The dates make them sweet enough, but in the future I think I will substitute 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar for 1/4 cup (appx) of dates. The dates make them a tad bit too rich, so I’ll need to work on a good balance. I think I’m off to a good start!
Enjoy with fresh berries and greek yogurt drizzled with agave nectar!
- 2 Cups dates, pitted and soaked in a bowl of water (measure before removing pits)
- 2 Cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
- 1/2 cup flax seed
- 3/4 cup nuts and seeds
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup dried berries, cherries and raisins
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325º F.
- Remove the dates from the water with a slotted spoon and pulse in a food processor, adding additional date water (from soaking dates) until the dates resemble apple butter.
- In a large bowl, combine the Oats, flax seed and cinnamon. Add the dates and a few Tablespoons of water (as needed) until the mixture is moist but not wet.
- Mix in the nuts, seeds, and dried fruit until well combined.
- Line an 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper. Press into the baking pan with another sheet of parchment paper and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and freeze until the bars are firm (about 1 hour). Lift the parchment paper out of the pan and cut into 8-12 bars.
- Store in the refrigerator.