No-Bake Granola Bars

I am super excited to share with you all that starting this weekend my blog has a fresh, beautiful makeover!  I’ve had two fabulous colleagues helping to make this happen, from designing it to be exactly the way I wanted and building it to have fun, new features.  My friend (and super talented photographer from Mason James Photography) and I did a fun photo shoot so I have some new headshots for the new site.

Hugs 'n Kitchen | Mason James Photography

Now, onto the granola bars.  I love breakfast.  And I really love granola bars because they’re such an easy grab-and-go type of meal or snack. (Which is awesome when I am running late in the morning!)

No-Bake Granola Bars | Hugs 'n Kitchen

There are so many granola bars out there.  Many of them sound healthy, but if you read the labels they are probably packed full of weird ingredients.  Of course there are tons of great, healthy options out there, too, but most of them aren’t gluten-free.  

These granola bars are incredibly simple to make, and you can feel confident that they are healthy because you know everything that goes into them!  The other beautiful thing is that they don’t require any baking, so you can make them, pop them in the fridge, and they’re ready to go in about an hour.

No-Bake Granola Bars | Hugs 'n Kitchen

I am on a huge “date” kick.  With peanut butter on top or just on their own.  Dates are an AWESOME snack and so good for you.  So I was pumped to find this recipe because dates are the “base” that holds everything together!  This is my favorite brand of dates.  They are really large and have an incredibly consistency.

No-Bake Granola Bars | Hugs 'n Kitchen

You can customize them with your favorite ingredients or whatever you have in the house.  And you can also adjust them to fit any allergies or dietary restrictions, with different nut butters, dried fruits and whatnot.

No-Bake Granola Bars | Hugs 'n Kitchen

No-Bake Granola Bars | Hugs 'n Kitchen

While I love crunch granola bars (I miss the Nature Valley Peanut Butter Granola Bars SO MUCH), I really enjoy a good chewy bar, too.  I find them to be more satisfying and filling.  This recipe makes granola bars that hold together wonderfully, but are also chewy and filling.  

The almonds and walnuts (or whatever nuts you add) provide a good crunch, but I’d definitely still categorize this as a chewy granola bar.

No-Bake Granola Bars | Hugs 'n Kitchen

I’ve shared with a few friends and so far everyone is a big fan!  They also keep you full for a long time.

I think next time I’ll try these with some dried fruits or mini chocolate chips 🙂 Maybe recreate a peanut butter chocolate chip flavor like those Quaker Chewy granola bars I remember having as a kid.  Mmm.

No-Bake Granola Bars | Hugs 'n Kitchen

For now, here’s the healthy recipe.  Let me know what other flavor combinations you come up with!  

No-Bake Granola Bars
Recipe adapted ever so slightly from Minimalist Baker.

Makes 8-10 bars (depending on how big you slice them)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free oats (rolled oats, not instant)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar (or honey)
  • 1/4 cup nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Steps

  1. In a food processor, process the dates until they are chopped into small pieces and form a dough-like mixture.
  2. In a small sauce pan, warm the peanut butter and agave nectar over low heat until the combination is thinned and pourable.
  3. Place the oats, almonds and dates in a mixing bowl and pour the peanut butter + agave mixture on top.
  4. Mix everything together.
  5. Transfer to an 8” x 8” baking dish lined with parchment paper.
  6. Press down on the mixture to make sure it’s evenly dispersed.  (I used a piece of parchment paper sprayed with Pam so it wouldn’t stick to my hands.)
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and let set in fridge or freezer for 30 minutes to harden.
  8. Remove the bars from the pan by pulling out the parchment paper and chop into 8-10 bars.
  9. Store in an airtight container for up to a week in the fridge, or in the freezer to make them last longer.

Hugs, kisses + yummy dishes… xoxo
Lauren

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