I love granola bars. As a college student in NYC, granola bars became a luxury food to me. This may sound silly, but (excluding Trader Joe’s), granola bars are very expensive in most stores/bodegas in NYC. Like, I’m talking $7.99 for a box of Kashi expensive. Yikes. So here today I am sharing these easy no-bake granola bars for granola bar lovers of all budgets. I hope you are ready.
These easy no-bake granola bars are sweet and chewy, thanks to the date paste and syrup that binds them together.
The nut butter adds some richness, and the chopped nuts add a satisfying crunch. Cinnamon and vanilla add a warm hug. Yum.
Feel free to use whatever nut butter, nuts, and/or dried fruits you have around. Anyway you make it, these easy no-bake granola bars are sure to satisfy.
For best results, keep in the freezer to prevent the dates from getting that weird musty old-date taste (anyone know what I’m talking about?). Pull a bar out and allow to thaw for a few minutes if desired. Personally, I think they taste best cold.
Easy No-Bake Granola Bars
Prep Time: 10 minutes; 1 hour chill time
Yield: 12 small bars
- 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1/3 cup nut butter (use your favorite)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup or agave
- 3 tablespoons apple sauce or mashed banana (sub additional maple syrup if you don’t have this)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped nuts (use your favorite; I used a combination of walnuts, pecans, and almonds)
- 1/2 cup dried fruit of choice
- If dates are hard, soak dates in warm water for about 10 minutes or until soft. Drain. If dates are soft, skip this step.
- In a food processor or blender, combine dates, nut butter, apple sauce, vanilla, and syrup. Process until a smooth sticky paste.
- In a large bowl, combine oats, cinnamon, salt, nuts. and dried fruit. Mix.
- Pour wet date mixture onto oat mixture. Mix well until a dough forms.
- Prepare an 8x8inch or 9×13 inch pan with a neutral oil or parchment paper. Pour dough into pan and press down with a spatula.
- Allow bars to set in the refrigerator or freezer for at least an hour.
- Slice and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. For best results keep in the freezer.