Coconut, Date and Almond Granola Bars

Theory is how I cook.  I have an idea, I research it, think about it and experiment with it.  Then eventually something works.  It’s a method, but it makes for some wonderful eating treats!

These granola bars are a labor of experimentation and a want for a healthy sweet snack to get me from lunch to dinner.

Granola Bars

Like all good theories, there are multiple ways to come to an end.  You do not like almonds, well peanuts, cashews, pecans or any nut will work. Don’t want to do nuts?  Well seeds are your savior then!  Pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and/or poppy seeds (although the poppy seeds may be a better substitute for the chia seeds.   Same goes for the nut butter (although almond butter creates a softer texture).  You do not want to use honey?  Try agave syrup or maple syrup.  I used dried blueberries but any dried fruit would work.  Some ideas are dried cherries, cranberries or apricots.  I love the texture and nutrition value of the chia seeds and flax seed meal that I use, but if you don’t have these at home or if you do not want to used them…don’t.  I would though substitute them with more oatmeal or flaked coconut.  I am a firm believer in chocolate chips.  But, they have processed sugar and milk.  I am okay with that, but if you are not, cocoa nibs would be a good alternative.

Certain things I wouldn’t change is the dates, coconut oil and nut butter.  This is what helps glue everything together.  Also, I would cook them.  I tried the raw version and while it was okay, it was crumbly and not as cohesive.  It made for great granola that went on top of my morning yogurt though.

Pan of Oatmeal Granola Bars

This makes a ton of bars, but if you put them in a Tupperware in the refrigerator, they will last for weeks.  There are some other good granola bar ideas out there…Here are a couple that gave me inspiration…

Chewy Granola Bars with Apricot, Pumpkin Seeds and Chocolate Chips via Bakeaholic Mama

Coconut Date Granola Bars via Urban Chickpea

Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Granola Bars via Savoring the Thyme

Granola Oatmeal Coconut Bars

Coconut Date and Almond Granola Bars

  • 4 cups Quick Cooking Oatmeal
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • 1/4 cup Flax Seed Meal
  • 1/4 cup Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Dried Blueberries (or any other dried fruit)
  • 1 cup Roasted and Lightly Salted Almonds (or any other nut or seed)
  • 1/2 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 12 Whole Dates without the Pits
  • 1 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Natural Peanut Butter (or any other nut butter)
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup Honey
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a food processor, add the pitted dates, coconut oil, peanut butter, vanilla extract, honey, salt and cinnamon.  Pulse till completely combined into a paste.  Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl add the oatmeal, flaked coconut, flax seed meal, chia seeds, dried fruit, almonds and chocolate chips.  Mix till combine.
  4. Pour the paste from the food processor into the large bowl.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients together.
  5. Pour the oatmeal mixture in a 9×13 Pyrex rectangle.  Pat flat till the oatmeal mixture is tight and even.Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.  Then take them out of the oven and let them cool before cutting.  Store in the refrigerator since the coconut oil “hardens” in the cooler temperature, creating an overall better texture.

 

I cut them into small squares and get about 24, but the nice thing about these is you can make them as big or as small as you like.  When the afternoon crash hits, I grab one of these and it seems to help get me through till dinner.  Also, it helps curb my grab a cookie or eat ice cream cravings.  Now go and make a granola bar snack of your own…Clink!

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