No Bake Granola Bars
Granola bars seem to be one of those snack foods that people just can’t let go of. I actually think anyone who has ever asked me about snack foods has most certainly asked me about granola bars. I get it. They are quick, they are convenient, they are inexpensive and they very are easy to travel with. I must admit, I have certainly had a granola bar or two in my day, but as much as I possibly can I tend to keep my snacks in the form of nuts or actual fruit, or a quick trail mix. However, if I were to make them at home this is most certainly the type of recipe I would whip up. What’s not to like about no bake granola bars?!
Yes, of course, there are lots of granola bar options on the market, but to me the ratio is never right. There is either too much sugar or too much dried fruit, not enough nuts or not enough seeds. So I figured who better to help to create a well-balanced granola bar but none other than myself! (I realize I might be a little bias.)
I tried to keep this recipe simple and to include ingredients people could easy get their hands on. Plus, I wanted the ingredients to be something you could swap or substitute for whatever you might have in your pantry. You could easily use sunflower seeds instead of pumpkin, shredded coconut instead of flaked, maple syrup instead of honey, and use any type of nut butter you like. If you are looking to make this recipe for your kids, try swapping almond butter for sunflower seed butter to make a healthy nut-free school snack.
No Bake Granola Bars
If you are using old fashioned oats, you might want to pulse them in a blender quickly to break them up just a little bit. Note: You could also add the extra step of toasting the oats in the oven for about 10 minutes at 375, this can help to bring out a more toasted flavour.
Makes 10 Bars
- 2 cups rolled oats, old fashioned or quick cooking
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 3/4 cup flaked coconut (or shredded)
- 1/4 cup dried fruit (dates or raisins)
- 1/2 cup almond butter + more if needed
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- Line a 8×8 inch baking dish with two strips of crisscrossed parchment paper. The parchment paper will make it easier for you to remove the bars from the pan and slice them later.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together oats, pumpkin seeds, coconut, salt and cinnamon. Stir well to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond butter, honey and vanilla extract. If needed gently warm it in the microwave or stove top to bring it together.
- Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. The mixture will be thick, so use a spatula or wooden spoon to stir thoroughly until there are no more dry oats.
- Depending on the type of almond butter and honey you use (as brands may vary), the mixture might be a little dry. If needed, add a little extra spoonful of nut butter and/or honey to help it all stick together.
- Transfer the mixture to baking dish and spread out evenly. Using something flat (such as the bottom of a drinking glass) press down the bar mixture to really pack them into the pan. The more tight and evenly you can pack them down, the easier they will be to slice.
- Transfer the baking dish to the fridge to the fridge or freezer for 20-30 minutes. This will allow time for the bars to firm up and the oats to absorb the mixture.
- Remove the bars from the pan and cut into 10 even bars. Wrap in plastic wrap and/or store in an airtight container for up to one week. These bars can be stored on the counter, but I find they keep best in the fridge, and can even be frozen for weeks to come.