No need to eat any more store bought Granola Bars – these seed bars are a fantastic option to have with your breakfast and/or as a snack. Make a single or double batch. We often make a double batch and freeze some of them, they freeze so well. Take them out of the fridge or freezer for a quick on the go snack, or pop it in your bag and by snack or lunch or end of the day it is perfect to eat!
I received this recipe from a friend of a family member. Ever since we made our first batch this has become one of our favourite homemade granola bars.
We buy all of the natural nuts from Walmart - Joe's Tasty Travels brand. We also use these nuts for our natural NUTS MIX snack - see the mix post here.
Here is the recipe:
1 cup (250 mL) chopped dates
½ cup (125 mL) water
1 cup (250 mL) gluten-free rolled oats - I use Quaker Quick Oats
1 cup (250 mL) hulled, roasted, unsalted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 cup (250 mL) hulled, roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
½ cup (125 mL) chopped dried apricots
¼ cup (60 mL) toasted sesame seeds
¼ cup (60 mL) medium unsweetened coconut
¾ cup (175 mL) packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup (60 mL) oat flour (we use Robin Hood Whole Wheat flour)
¼ cup (60 mL) canola oil
¾ tsp (4 mL) salt
Parchment Paper for baking
I did not have dates on hand the first time I made this recipe, so I just used a bit extra water – so instead of ½ cup of water, I used 1 cup to 1 cup and ½ of water. If you are doubling the recipe, double the amount of water if you are not using dates. Let me know if you do use dates – one day I will try it with the dates. I find that if I make the granola bars thick enough, they tend to hold fairly well together and of course let them cool off completely.
I do not use sesame seeds, coconut or dried apricots. Instead, I use dried cranberries that I finely chop. I also use whole wheat flour instead of oat flour.
What we usually do is let it cool off, pop it in the fridge and then I cut them when they are cold and they slice more easily. Because they have a lot of nuts, they can break easily.
It does need a bit of elbow grease when you are stirring and a careful touch when you are slicing the bars but it is all worth it!
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. Line an 8-inch (20-cm) square pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
(Use a Mug: This is my trick to help the parchment paper to stay flat as you pour the mixture into the pan):
3. Combine dates and water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 4 minutes or until dates are very soft and water has almost disappeared. Drain. Reserve. (I have not done this step. I use water instead after everything is combined).
4. Combine oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, apricots, sesame seeds, coconut, brown sugar, oats, flour, canola oil and salt in a bowl and toss to combine.
Stir in dates and mix thoroughly. Use a spatula to press mixture firmly into prepared pan to make an even layer.
5. Bake for 35 minutes or until top is evenly golden. Let cool completely.
6. Use parchment to lift baked mixture out of pan and transfer to a cutting board. Use a serrated knife to cut into squares or bars. Keep in a sealed container until ready to eat.
Makes 15 or more small bars
You control what goes into your food and snacks especially when it is homemade. You can control the amount of brown sugar that is part of the recipe vs. store bought Granola Bars that have not so healthy added in ingredients to help preserve the product. I put less sugar then the recipe calls for and you can substitute ingredients as well.
These seed bars are absolutely delicious! They freeze so well. They do not come out soggy after being in the freezer . They are packed with protein, more than satisfy that crunchy craving and are great for that morning or afternoon pick me up. We usually make a double batch on a weekend, freeze some and give some to family and enjoy throughout the week.
I am currently enjoying a seed bar as I am writing this post = YUM! Enjoy!