These no-bake granola bars contain only five ingredients, no added sugar, and are infinitely customizable… A perfect lunchbox snack!
Since Joseph was diagnosed with his food allergies (soy, egg and peanuts), it’s definitely been difficult to find packaged snacks to keep in the pantry and in the diaper bag for him. We’ve been defaulting to Crispy Fruit – he loves the apples! – so that there’s something easy to grab if we’ll be out during snack time. However, I wanted to add some variety to his snack options, and went on a quest to find healthier granola bars.
While I love the previous granola bars I’ve made, they include quite a bit of sugar, oil, peanut butter, etc… not exactly what I had in mind. After searching the Internets for something simpler and healthier, I found a minimal recipe with only a few ingredients that I could easily adapt for Joseph’s needs. Hurray!
The binder for these granola bars is pureed dates, and the bars include oats, honey, sunflower seed butter, and dried cranberries.
We have been using Sunbutter pretty much exclusively since Joseph’s peanut allergy, which is what I used in these granola bars, but you could obviously use any type of nut butter that you like! In lieu of chopped nuts, I chose to include dried cranberries, since Joseph likes to snack on a few when I put them in my salad. You could use any combination of add-ins in their place.
It took a few tries with my now-picky toddler (a lot of staring at them and shaking his head vehemently), but once he actually took a bite (I feel like this is the biggest hurdle!), he loved them! I keep a batch in the freezer for an easy snack that’s a nice change of pace.
Line an 8x8 square baking pan with parchment paper.
Process the dates in a food processor until it forms a ball, is a dough-like consistency, and only small bits remain, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Place the pureed dates, oats and dried cranberries in a large bowl.
Place the honey and peanut butter in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir briefly, then pour over the date and oat mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine, breaking up the pureed dates to ensure that they are evenly incorporated throughout the mixture.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press into an even, compact layer. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up. Remove from the pan, transfer to a cutting board, and slice into bars. The granola bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or wrapped individually in plastic wrapped, placed in a freezer bag, and stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.