These delicious bars may taste as good as a candy bar, but they couldn’t be more different when it comes to nutritional value. These bars are packed with high-fiber oats, and protein rich almonds and nut butters. They are sweetened with natural, unrefined sugars from dates and honey, and for indulgence they also include bittersweet chocolate (which is very low in sugar and high in antioxidants). The oats will aid in your digestive health, and also stabilize your blood sugar levels as the body breaks them down slowly. This means long lasting energy with no highs, or crashes. Almonds are packed with vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber, and are associated with a number of health benefits. Just a handful of almonds, approximately one ounce, contains one-eighth of our necessary daily protein. These, along with the nut butter, will provide heart healthy fats, as well as a satisfaction level that will keep your body satiated and fulfilled for hours. The benefits from dates range from digestive support to cancer fighting, and they are packed with nutrients, minerals, vitamins and fiber. When you need a snack on the go, these bars are definitely an excellent choice!
Sweet and Salty Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- Prep time: 10 minutes
- Cook time: 15 minutes
- Serves: 10
- 1 cup Medjool dates, packed
- 4 tbs Honey, maple syrup, or agave
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 4 tbs Nut butter (eg. Almond, Cashew)
- 1 cup Almonds, roasted and unsalted, loosely chopped
- 1½ cup Rolled oats
- ¼ cup Dark chocolate chips
- ¼ cup Dried cranberries or raisins
Process dates in a food processor or blender until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a “dough” like consistency, or roll into a ball. If using a blender, add a splash of water if needed to get it going.
Process chopped almonds in a food processor for an additional minute, pulsing as needed.
Process half the oats until ground, leaving the other half whole.
Place oats, almonds, dates in a bowl and set aside.
Warm honey, vanilla, and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout. Add in the chocolate chips & raisins and mix gently.
Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8 dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily.
Press down with force until uniformly flattened. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let set in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden.
Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars. Store in an airtight container.