I don’t really care for sweets, but every morning, I have a Nature Valley Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola Bar with my one cup of coffee. It breaks the fast and isn’t bad for me. I’ve shopped around to try to find a suitable organic brand alternative, but they’re expensive to try them all and that makes it hard to switch.
Well, now that I’m a Pampered Chef (independent) consultant, I get to try out all the products I would like! So, when I got the Snack Bar Maker Set recently, I set out to replicate those granola bars that had their grips in me for so long.
Let’s just say there will be a certain amount of trial and error, but I got something (22 somethings) that I will enjoy until I get to try another batch!
Firstly, I need to give credit for the starter recipe. I took Modern Honey’s Cranberry Walnut base and switched it up.
I had Joolies already, because I use one in my smoothie every (weekday) morning. I suppose you could use other kinds of dates (are there other kinds?). The goal here is to sweeten without using sugar.
I popped the dates, (homemade) almond butter, coconut oil, agave, salt, and a cup of oats into my kick-ass Blender and puréed everything together. It had to work a little harder than I think it wanted to, so that’s a consideration I need to make with the next batch. I’ll probably use fewer dates since I’m adding other sweet things later.
I cleaned out the blender and got to work mixing in the chia seeds, chocolate chips, dried cherries, and muesli.
It looked pretty good at this point! Since I needed to clear the counter to make focaccia dough, I scraped the ingredients into the bar pan and tossed it into the freezer. Incidentally, this filled the silicone tray of exactly 12 bars.
After 15 minutes in the freezer, I took them out and they were way too squidgy for me. Bendy. Loose. Not granola bar-like.
I scooped them all back into the bowl and added almost all of the rest of the bag of Bob’s Muesli. Mind you, at this point, I’m mentally calculating how much these suckers are going to cost, and how long it’s going to take to amortize the savings. But, can one really put a price on healthy, non-preservative-filled choices?
I filled the tray again, and this time, left them in the freezer overnight. This was mostly due to not wanting to be in the kitchen anymore, but also because there wasn’t any reason to not do this.
The next morning, I was pleased with the results! I could eject them out of the tray easily, and placed them between waxed paper pieces, and since I had so much more “dough”, I was able to fill nearly an entire second tray.
I have enough for nearly a month now and, while they might still cost more per unit, they’re not GMO and I know precisely what’s in them. They’re a teensy-bit sweeter than I would like, so I think I can leave out the cherries (or replace them with raisins) once I run out of those, which will bring the cost down significantly. I’ll probably also cut the number of dates in half and increase the nut butter and coconut oil a smidge.
Homey Granola Bars
- High-powered Blender
- 2 Tbsp Almond Butter
- 1/3 cup Agave Nectar or Honey
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil melted
- 12 Medjool Dates pitted
- 1 cup Rolled Oats
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/4 cup Chia Seeds
- 1/3 cup Chocolate Chips dark
- 1/3 cup Dried Cranberries
- 2 cups Muesli or more Rolled Oats
- Add everything for the base, in order, to the blender and pulse until combined into a wet doughy consistency. Empty into mixing bowl.
- Pour in your mix-ins and stir to combine.
- Scoop into bar pan (or sheet pan) and freeze for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
- Remove from pan and, depending on the temperature in your house, store in the freezer, fridge, or on a counter. Enjoy!