Hi hi hi! I’m Christina over at Run Lift Eat Repeat and I’m SO excited to be joining the family over here at My Cooking Spot! One of my goals for 2017 was to commit to always having healthy snacks on hand (at home, in my purse, etc.) for those times you need something to hold you over or you’re just hungry.
Enter the BEST granola bars.*
I typically make a huge batch of these on the weekend so I’m set for the week. Sometimes I even double the batch and freeze half. And the best part: there’s no baking involved!
These chewy almond granola bars are super easy to make. You only need 7 ingredients: dates, almonds, almond butter, oats, honey, craisins, and chia seeds. You’ll add most of the ingredients into a food processor or blender and fold in the rest, place in a baking dish and let it set in the refrigerator.
There’s so much room for customization too! Don’t like almond butter? Use another nut butter! Not a fan of almonds? Try a different nut! Like another dried fruit more? Add those in! Or use a combination!
*The secret to these: dates. Have you had them before? Typically they are found in the produce section of the grocery store. Their brown wrinkly exterior doesn’t do them justice. But they are a miracle ingredient when it comes to homemade granola bars.
- 1 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped (to help the food processor/blender out)
- 2 cups whole almonds
- 1 and 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 cup almond butter (not the watery kind)
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1/3 cup craisins
- Optional (highly recommended): 8 ounces dark baking chocolate, melted
- Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper or foil for easy removal of the bars. Set aside.
- Place the pitted dates, almonds, oats, almond butter and honey into your food processor. Blend/pulse until a dough-like forms (pictured above.) This will take a minute or two of blending. If it's too dry, add 2-3 more dates.
- Once the mixture comes together, fold in the craisins and chia seeds. Place mixture into the baking dish and press firmly until the mixture is set in the pan. Place in the refrigerate to set for 1-2 hours, sometimes I leave it over night.
- Remove from the refrigerator and cut into squares.
- Optional: You can melt chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments,stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth. Drizzle over top or smear on top. Let the chocolate set before storing.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Make ahead: Bars can be stored in an air tight bag or container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.