Sharing a healthy homemade granola bar recipe which uses no added sugar! Perfect for a sweet pick me up in the afternoon!
A Healthy + No Bake Homemade Granola Bar Recipe
Alright friends, let’s talk about granola bars. The tastiest snack that somehow still sneaks its way into the ‘healthy snack’ category in everyone’s brain. Like, are they really though? The majority of those that you purchase in stores are filled with additives and sugar substitutes but even when searching for a homemade granola bar recipe online I was surprised that everything had a decent amount of sugar and butter too. Since when does something with a cup of butter and sugar qualify as a healthy snack?! Sounds like a dessert to me! However, I think these tasty little bars here JUST might pass the test! Natural sugars, yes, but there are no added sugars, no butter, not even honey, and the taste is oh so sweet! Even Dan, who has the sweetest sweet tooth (and very little interest in healthy snacks!) gobbled these up in no time.
I’ve tried making granola bar recipes before with failed attempt. They were either too soft, too dry, or most of all – too crumbly. That is, until I found a recipe that used dates. Hmm…now that was something I was willing to try! Dates – nature’s glue. That’s what they call them, right? Kidding, but with this recipe it is definitely the case! So, I set to work with dates as the base of my homemade granola bar recipe and played around with the ingredients until I had something delicious. I am sharing here a great base recipe for granola bars. From here, you are free to take the reins and customize them however you wish.
Ingredients for No Sugar Added Homemade Granola Bar Recipe
2 cups pitted dates
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups oats
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon coconut flakes
How to Make Homemade Granola Bars
Place 2 cups of pitted dates into a bowl and add boiling water to soften the dates. Allow them to sit for about 10-15 minutes. Once the dates are softened, add them to a food processor and blend until they make a thick paste – chunks are fine too though! I managed to do this step using my very sub-par blender and it really wasn’t a problem. Pro-tip: even if your bag of dates says that they are pitted, be sure to check each date as there are often a few that have been missed. A date pit could easily break your blender…or worse, your tooth!
On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spread out your oats. Place the tray of oats in the oven to bake for about 15 minutes, or until slightly browned. If you wished for more sweetness, you could toss your oats with honey prior to baking but I did not find that necessary.
In a mixing bowl, combine the dates with the peanut butter to make a consistent paste. Add in all of your dry ingredients and mix mix mix by hand until all ingredients are combined evenly.
Making the Granola Bar Recipe into…Granola BARS!
Your mixture is ready! However, if you wished, you could add additional items into your mix as well such as dried fruit, chocolate chips, or pretzles…whatever you wish! I opted to add these additions on top of the granola bars at the very end. You can also leave them just as is above. Play around and see what you like best!
On a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper, (this recipe, perfectly covered an 8″x14″ baking sheet), pour all of your mixture and flatten it evenly with your hands. If you wish to add toppings like I did, do this now. Place your bars in the fridge to harden for about 30 minutes.
Remove the tray from the fridge and cut them. Wrap your bars in wax paper, saran, or in a ziplock bag or put them in a sealed container…whatever works for you! I keep my bars in the fridge so they are nice and hard but this recipe maintains a great consistency no matter where they are stored. Enjoy!!