I have a love/hate relationship with granola bars. They are delicious and easy to eat on the go, but they are loaded with calories, sugar and usually have little protein. I just don’t feel like they have a lot of bang for my buck, calorie wise. But they are sooo tasty.
And a lot of them are loaded with crap and additives, that is why I really like KIND brand granola bars. Unfortunately, they are a little pricey. So, I was ecstatic when I saw Minimalist Baker posted a recipe that looked like a KIND bar. MB kept it simple, using only five ingredients. I added a few more ingredients for fun.
- 1 cup packed dates, pitted( I used medjool)
- 1/4 cup honey( or maple syrup)
- 1/4 cup natural nut butter of choice(I used almond)
- 1 1/4 cup rolled oats(not instant or quick oats)
- 1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut(toasted preferably)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch of salt(optional)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain.
Spread almonds, oats and coconut on a baking sheet. You might need two baking sheets. Toast in the oven for about 15 minutes until slightly golden brown and the almonds are giving off a nutty flavor. This step is optional but really enhances the flavor of your granola bars.
Place oats, almonds, coconut, dates, and cinnamon in a bowl. Mix to combine.
Warm honey, vanilla and almond butter for 20 seconds at a time until it can be stirred and combined.
Pour mixture over oat mixture and mix.
Once thoroughly combined, transfer to a parchment lined 9×13 baking dish. Press down until uniformly flattened. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for a minimum of 20 minutes to harden.
Remove bars form pan and cut into bars(mine made 12 bars). Sore in an airtight container for a few days. I individually wrapped mine and stored them in the freezer and they stayed fresh for about a month.
Doing a taste test at work with the almond coconut KIND bar and a homemade faux KIND bar, the faux KIND bar won the contest. Oh, and its way cheaper to make these yourself than to buy them already packaged, but I’m sure you could have guessed that!