Friday, January 13, 2017

No Sugar Granola Bars

I've mentioned a time or twenty that my son is a picky eater. Selective, they say in some circles. One food that he is usually willing to eat is granola bars. His absolute favorite are iced oatmeal cookie-flavored Clif Zbars, but when I get my act together (wait...that never actually happens), we love to make homemade granola bars together.

Some of our favorites are these No Bake Granola Bars. They are crazy good, but I wanted to come up with a version that had less sugar. I was having a hard time getting my new bars to stick together, so I turned to you, friends, for help! Thanks to your comments and suggestions on Facebook, we came up with a winning recipe.

Dates add sweetness, stickiness, and a hearty helping of fiber. Peanut butter contributes protein and more holding power so these bars don't crumble. Oatmeal means you'll be full all the way to lunch time. Ground flaxseed boosts the healthy omega-3 fatty acids. I did include mini chocolate chips on top, but this is an optional ingredient. There's no way my kid will touch a granola bar without chocolate chips, so it's a non-negotiable in my house. With mostly healthy ingredients, a little bit of chocolate can't hurt, right?

One thing I do know: when it comes to granola bars, crowd sourcing for the win!

Let's get cooking!

No Sugar Granola Bars

25 pitted dates
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Pulse all ingredients except chocolate chips in a food processor until combined. Press evenly into a foil-lined 8" square pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and press them into the bars. Refrigerate 1 hour before removing the foil and slicing into bars. Store granola bars in the refrigerator.

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