Nutty Chocolate and Date Granola Bars

Posted on: Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Inspired by Marni’s make-ahead morning oats, I too find myself on the go juggling day-to-day demands. One of my favorite ways to decompress after a long day is to go for a late afternoon stroll with Shiloh. Our pup waits patiently during the day (likely counting down the hours), and once she hears me approach our red front door, she is a jumpy bolt of energy.
To match Shiloh’s stamina, I often grab a handful of candy while tying up my sneakers, but lately have been opting for a healthier, make-ahead snack.
At the beginning of the week, I whip up a batch of granola bars and like Marni, usually stir in whatever nuts, dried fruits and seeds I have in my pantry. I often add chia seeds for a burst of energy, dates for natural sweetness, and cashews for a savory crunch. Once the bars are set in the fridge, I cut them into thick slices and wrap each in parchment - an easy grab-and-go snack while keeping up with Shiloh.
Nutty Chocolate and Date Granola Bars

2 T chia seeds
6 T water at room temp
12-15 Medjool dates, pitted
1 T coconut oil
1/4 c honey
1/4 c crunchy or creamy peanut butter (I love Teddie's Super Crunch)
1 1/2 c oats
1 c cashews, halved or loosely chopped
1/2 c dark chocolate chips
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 t salt

In a small bowl, place the chia seeds and water and let sit. 

Meanwhile, process the dates in a food processor until a dough-like ball forms. About 1 - 2 minutes.

In a small saucepan, warm the coconut oil, honey, and peanut butter over low heat. Once melted and combined, add the dough ball and stir to combine.

Pour the warmed mixture into a large bowl and add the oats, cashews, dark chocolate chips, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Thoroughly mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon. Once combined, transfer the mixture to an 8 x 8-inch baking dish lined with wax paper, parchment or plastic wrap. Place another piece of wax paper or plastic wrap on top and firmly press down the mixture with your hands or a flat bottomed vessel.

With the wax paper or plastic wrap on top, place the dish in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 

With a sharp knife, cut the bars into slices sized to your liking and wrap them, or store them in an airtight container in the fridge. They last for a week or so in the fridge.
Grab and go! 


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