HOMEMADE GRANOLA BARS

For starters, I am allergic to peanuts, coconuts and all other types of nuts. While growing up it was definitely hard because almost everything I ate could have been cross contaminated with nuts. Because I work in an office, my main goal lately has been to eat healthy and not just reach for a bag of chips when stressed out. I thought energy granola bars would be an awesome way to not only fill me up but be healthy at the same time. I’ve visited many local grocery stores and almost every single bar that I’ve found either contained nuts or was full of sugar. This is where the quest for the ultimate granola bar began!

After tons of research, I finally decided to go ahead and try making my bar. This bar would be sugar free, gluten free and of course NUT FREE!!

I found that in regular bars, peanut butter was used as both an energizer and a way to hold the bar together. For my bars, I decided to substitute the peanut butter with some dates. I found that the dates would add some sweetness and could act like a glue to hold all of the ingredients together. I used organic pitted Medjool dates that i found in my local grocery store.

To make these wonderful bars you will need the following,
– Medjool dates
– Water
– Rolled oats
– Chia seeds
– Sunflower seeds
– Pumpkin seeds
– Dried fruit (I used dried cranberries)
– Cinnamon
– Vanilla extract
– Salt

I started off by lining a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheating the oven to 350F. Take the rolled oats and grind them in a blender until a fine flour forms. I used my magic bullet. Add the ground oats into a large bowl. Add the dates and water into the blender and blend until smooth. I found that soaking the dates for 15 minutes allowed them to get smooth and made them easier to blend. Combine the date mixture in with the oat flour. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until combined.
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Spread out the mixture on the baking tray and bake for about 25 minutes. Cool and cut into preferred size bars.
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These bars came out amazing and my whole family just loved them! I did end up taking half of the bars and freezing them 🙂

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