No-Bake Granola Bars

no bake granola bars

I first made these granola bars less than a year ago…so not quite sure what took me so long to post them. In my defense, I only started blogging just under 3 months ago, too many recipes in queue and I was working on my photography skills. Proud to mention that this is my first attempt at photographing a pouring shot ( see below)… so surely, it had to wait for its turn. So the reason, I made these babies was my utter disappointment with the store bought ones and there are several reasons for this. And my lovely readers, please indulge me on this as go about listing them in bullets as I would in a powerpoint for one of my work presentations:

No bake Granola Bars

 

– firstly, the real thing doesn’t look anywhere close to the one showed on the packaging, totally unappetizing;

– they don’t taste half as good as their advertising claims, even the really expensive ones, the organic ones, the ones with no added sugar, blah blah; and that boils down to strictly to the quality of ingredients and probably the technique of mass production;

– they are not half as healthy as they are meant to be. So if you are one of those who picks these up by the cartons on your weekly grocery trips, look closely at the list of ingredients: you will see that majority of the ingredients belong to the category of fructose ( sugar), maltose (another kind of sugar), corn syrup ( more sugar…really? ) and all the gunk in the form of preservatives/ flavourings;

– And they cost a bomb for the regular eaters – you are just being taken for a ride for less than half the quality and goodness!

no bake granola bars

And now for the reasons for making these no-bake granola bars at home:

– the easiest ever granola bars you can make at home: 5 ingredients, 15 minutes, zero cooking / baking and you will probably find most of the ingredients in your pantry;

– tasty as heaven – seriously I wouldn’t say that if I didn’t think so and they would not have made it to the blog in the first place. I can swear that these are at least 100 times better than the best granola bars you will find on the market – packed with flavour, tons of crunch balanced with moreish chewiness;

– they are as healthy as you can get – full of goodness from oats (don’t need to tell how good oats are for you), anti-oxidants from the almonds, vitamins from the berries, no added sugar, natural honey and iron from the dates….you want more reasons!

 

– these babies are truly customizable- so while you will need the oats, dates and peanut butter to hold the bar together, you can replace these with gluten free oats, go for almond or any other nut butter if you are allergic to peanuts, use agave instead of honey to keep it vegan, add any other nuts, berries, chips, dried fruit. I have used pistachios, banana chips, dried mango, pineapple – the options are unlimited;

– a winner on the runway!! Golden oats speckled with toasty almonds, jeweled with crimson cranberries and deep blueberries…none of the horrible dry as a bone stuff you get out of a packet;

– And, they are portable like crazy and keep forever in the freezer, if they last that long – the first time I made them, they were gone in a day!

So, this is a call out to all the yummy mummies, dashing daddies, college students, my single friends – boys and girls , give this is a go and you will never be hungry again or low on energy – it is the ultimate pick me up snack that you can crumble over yoghurt for your breakfast, keep a bunch in your office pedestal for a mid-morning snack, in the lunch box for your kiddos and a sure fire way to beat the 3 pm sugar rush!

Ingredient

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  • Rolled Oats / GF Oats – 2 cups, lightly toasted ( they taste better toasted !)
  • Pitted soft dates – 1.5 cups
  • Peanut butter, smooth – 1/2 cup
  • Natural honey – 1/2 cup
  • Toasted unsalted almonds – 1 cup, roughly chopped ( add more if you like 🙂 )
  • Dried cranberries and blueberries – 1/2 cup ( optional)

granola collage

Method

  • Begin by placing the dates in a food processor and pulsing till you get a coarse paste and the whole thing begins to get sticky and comes together like a dough. If the dates are too dry or hard, soak them in warm water for about 10 minutes, strain well and then process;
  • Place the oats, dates, almonds, berries in large bowl and combine well,  making sure you break up the dates so it is dispersed evenly;

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  • In a small saucepan, gently heat the peanut butter and honey for a couple of minutes till they melt and reach a pouring consistency. Pour this into oats mixture and mix well with a spatula or use your hands like I did to bring all the ingredients together;

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  • Take a shallow tray or 8-8 baking sheet and line with parchment or baking paper so it is easy to lift off later; Alternatively grease the bottom with a light brushing of butter or any vegetable oil. Spread the granola mixture on the baking sheet and press down lightly with greased fingers ( to stop it from sticking). I find it really useful to cover the mixture with another layer of baking paper and using a rolling pin to spread the mixture and get a uniform thickness. I like the bars to be about 1/2 inch thick but feel free to increase or reduce the thickness to your liking;
  • Keep the baking paper over the granola spread and place in the freezer or fridge for about 20-30 minutes to harden.  Keep a little longer if your mixture is still soft. Cut with a sharp knife into even sized bars and store in the fridge; This quantity makes about 15-18 bars;

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Notes:

  • If you prefer to toast your oats, place them in 200C oven for about 10-15 till they are golden brown or dry roast them in a skillet over a low flame; Similarly with the almonds;
  • If you like your bars to be chewy or crisper, increase or reduce the quantity of peanut butter and honey proportionately;
  • This recipe has been adapted from The Minimalist Baker;

granola bars

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7 responses to “No-Bake Granola Bars

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