Granola bars felt like the perfect recipe to share in January, for the folks who are trying to eat a little better this year and those of us who just need quick and healthy snacks to keep us going through the winter months. This recipe, filled with whole grain oats, protein-packed nuts/seeds, and sweetened with dates and a little maple syrup, feels like both a treat and a healthy snack. The best of both worlds.
We’ve included the original recipe as well as our notes on modifying the flavors to create something you’ll really love.
Jody’s Nut Free Sunflower Cherry Bars
I was happy when Christina suggested a chewy granola bar recipe for our team this month because my boys start a winter session at the local outdoor school - Human Nature School - next week and they'll need plenty of healthy carbohydrates to fuel them. I opted for a nut-free recipe since nuts aren't allowed at most schools these days. I substituted our GDC Chocolate Sunbutter for the peanut butter, sunflower seeds for the walnuts and used our 64% dark chocolate discs. While I wouldn't typically choose a granola bar that has dried fruit, I added 1/4 cup dried tart cherries to this batch and we love them! The tart flavor of the cherries balances the earthy sunflower seeds. I like that there's no added refined sugar, only maple syrup and dates. I pulsed the oats for a few minutes in the blender and we really like this texture. It's a tasty GDC twist on a Lara Bar style granola bar. I plan to try a hazelnut version next.
Aubrey’s PB&J Bars
What’s better than one customized flavor of granola bars? Two flavors that work together perfectly, of course! The PB half of my bars were a chocolate seed butter version using GDC Chocolate Sunbutter, salted cashews and chocolate covered cacao nibs. To make the jelly version, I substituted cherry preserves for the nut butter and stuck with the salted cashews. I left out the chocolate because of how sweet I anticipated it might be. Nothing better than a great excuse to eat two bars instead of one!
Christina’s Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Bars
I’ve been making renditions of this granola bar recipe for more than six years and it’s always a good week when there is a batch of these in the fridge. I made something I haven’t tried before this time around using almond butter, roasted hazelnuts and 81% chocolate discs (and maple syrup made right here at home, of course!). I absolutely love dark chocolate with hazelnuts, so this was a match made in heaven. I opted for almond butter because the flavor doesn’t mute those lovely hazelnuts and the result was a bar that felt a little more decadent simply because hazelnut is such a special flavor.
Homemade Chewy Granola Bar Recipe
1 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1/4 cup nut butter
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 1/5 cups quick oats (or rolled oats pulsed in a blender or food processor)
If you make these granola bars, let us know! And tag us in your photos on Instagram.