Moist & Chewy Granola Bars

Moist & Chewy Granolla Bars

These tasty granola bars are sure to give you a kick of energy during the mid-afternoon crash.

Clean energy

Energy-rich food is so important when going for an extended workout. Hiking, running, swimming and cycling long distances all require a substantial amount of healthy energy. The tried and tested tradition for this energy is usually granola bars! These have been a staple snack from the time we were children and have always been marketed as healthy. But are they really?

Supermarket bars

While there are a lot of really great vegan granola/energy bars on the market Larabar and some of the Clifbar range to name a couple, most of the supermarket brand bars are full of processed sugar and preservatives. While they are easy to grab on the go, the energy you find with these granola bars isn’t sustainable and not particularly healthy.

There is no better than a homemade granola bar

I don’t know what it is that makes homemade taste better. Is it just the satisfaction of knowing I’ve made it? Or is it that I know that the ingredients are fresh? Or that I can tailor the flavours to suit my preferences? I imagine it’s a combination of all of these things but whatever the reason there is nothing like a homemade, vegan granola bar.

For kids and adults

These natural, handmade, vegan granola bars are a hit with both kids and adults. Dates, almond butter, maple syrup, oats and almonds are the base for these delicious gluten-free granola bars. They can then be flavoured with any number of ingredients — from cranberries, figs and chocolate to a pinch or two of fleur de sel — for that salty/sweet combination.

Take them on a long hike or use them as fuel for that marathon you’re training for. Whatever the reason – you will absolutely love them and your gut will too!

Recipe by Chef Michael

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Total time: 45 Minutes
Servings: 18 - 24

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pitted dates*
  • 1/4 cup liquid sweetener (such as maple syrup or agave) **
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp fleur de sel, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate (either chips or discs, roughly chopped)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, or to taste
  • 1/4 dried figs, chopped

Instructions

1. Place the dates in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until only small bits remain. They should have a dough-like consistency when done.
2. Place the dates, liquid sweetener and almond butter in a medium bowl, stirring to blend. Add the rolled oats and almonds, mixing well to combine. When blended, add the chocolate, cranberries, figs and salt, mixing vigorously to blend completely.
3. Line an 8- x 8-inch baking dish or a casserole with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish and use your fingers to press it down to make an even layer. You may find this easier to do if your hands are just slightly wet.
4. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and place into the freezer for at least 15 minutes to harden. Once the mixture is very firm to the touch, remove it from the dish and cut into serving-sized portions. Store, airtight, at room temperature or wrap the pieces, individually in plastic wrap, and store, frozen.
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*Note: If the dates do not feel quite moist and sticky, soak them for approximately 10 minutes in hot water to soften. Drain before using it.

**Depending on how sweet you like your food, you may want to half or adjust the amount of sweetener used.

If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, be sure to buy gluten-free oats. Also note that the oats can be used raw or, if desired, toasted slightly. To toast, place them in a baking pan in a preheated 350°F oven and toast for 10 to 15 minutes or just until they turn a light golden brown.

Feel free to adjust the amounts of chocolate, cranberries and figs and/or substitute them with any other ingredient that you may prefer. A few other ideas would be cacao nibs, hemp seeds or pistachio nuts, but the options are endless.

You can use another quality of salt, but do not use table salt as it will not lend the same delicate salt flavor that fleur de sel will add.

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