I love to snack. Sometimes you need a mid-morning pick-me-up, or an afternoon treat. These grain-free granola bars are both. They are full of heart healthy nut protein and are naturally sweetened with honey. Chocolate chips make them a treat. And they’re easy to modify to your taste.
First, you’ll need a lot of raw nuts. A blend of cashews, pecans, almonds, and walnuts.
Honey is our natural sweetener. If you can, get local honey. This is honey from my local Farmer’s Market and it is delicious.
You’ll combine your honey with vanilla, raw almond butter, and coconut oil. These ingredients combine best when heated on medium-low heat. It will start to smell extremely delicious as the ingredients heat and combine.
A blender or food processor does the work for you. Pulse the nuts until they are coarse, bordering on fine.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients in the saucepan, then transfer the mixture to a glass baking dish lined with parchment paper.
Press the mixture down with your hands until it is flat and even. If it doesn’t fill your baking dish, don’t worry! Just use a flat hand to make sure both ends are even-ish. This is also the time when you’ll press in your chocolate chips or dried fruit. I think dried cherries would go great in these bars!
Two hours in the freezer and voilà!
Use a sharp knife to slice the bars into square or rectangular shapes. They are crunchy, dense, and not too sweet. They are filling and super yummy. Your friends will definitely want one.
Recipe, adapted slightly from Against All Grain:
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup raw almond butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 1/2 cup raw pecans
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 5 medjool dates
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, not salted
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened and reduced fat
- Chocolate chips (I used vegan ones) or dried fruit to sprinkle on top (optional)
- In a medium saucepan combine vanilla, honey, almond butter, and coconut oil. Keep pan at medium to low heat and use a small whisk to combine ingredients as they heat. This process took me about 10 minutes. Return heat to low and let mixture sit.
- Combine raw almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, and dates in a food processor or Vitamix blender. Blend until nuts are in small pieces, with a sandy consistency.
- Add sunflower seeds and coconut. Pulse to combine.
- Remove saucepan from heat. Pour nut mixture directly into medium saucepan. Use a spatula to combine ingredients.
- In a glass baking dish lined with an excess of non-stick parchment paper, pour your combined mixture.
- Use your hands to press the mixture down into the paper, spreading it evenly. The recipe will fill an 8 x 8 dish, but if you only have a larger one, just use a flat hand to smooth the end.
- If using chocolate chips or dried fruit, sprinkle them on top now and gently press into the mixture.
- Fold excess parchment paper to fully cover the bars. You may need to use more. Use small weights (like beans or frozen fruit) to hold paper down, if necessary.
- Freeze for two hours to let the bars set.
- Remove and slice into bars or squares. You’ll need a sharp knife. Mine are all different shapes!
- Store in freezer or fridge. These are great for a snack or after dinner treat!