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Vegan Granola Bars

The perfect on-the-go snack – these Vegan Granola Bars are hearty, healthy and completely satisfying. They are easy to make, require simple ingredients, and you don’t even have to bake them!
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 217kcal

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups rolled oats (gluten-free if preferred)
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup puffed rice cereal
  • 1/4 cup almonds , roughly chopped (or preferred nuts)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (sub raisins, cherries, goji berries, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup medjool dates , pitted (packed cup - about 7 dates)
  • 1/2 cup almond butter (or preferred nut butter)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (sub agave or coconut nectar)
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the rolled oats, quick oats, puffed rice, cranberries, sunflower seeds and almonds.
  • Process the dates in a food processor until they are broken down into a sticky paste. Leave the paste in the processor.
  • In a small pot, over medium-low heat, whisk the almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon together. Heat until the mixture is well combined, softened and slightly runny (1-3 minutes). Stir often to prevent burning.
  • Now add the warmed mixture to the food processor with the dates. Process until fully combined, scraping down sides as needed.
  • Pour the almond and date mixture over the dry mixture and combine well using a spatula.
  • Wait for the mixture to cool for a few minutes before adding the chocolate chips so they don't melt. Stir to combine.
  • Now evenly spread the mixture into the baking pan. Press down firmly to ensure the bars will hold together. You can use a jar to roll over the mixture as you press down. Firmly press the edges too with a spatula.
  • Place in the freezer for about 1 hour to firm up. Cut into 12 even bars.

Notes

It is very important to combine the mixture well and press into the pan firmly. This will ensure that the bars hold together. You can roll over the top with a jar and press the edges with a firm spatula. 
If your dates are not somewhat moist and sticky, soak them in water for 10-15 minutes to rehydrate. This helps the bars hold together well. 
If you aren't a fan of raw oats, you can toast them in the oven on a baking tray at 350 F (177 C) for 10-15 minutes. Stirring midway through.
For nut-free bars, replace the almonds with seeds and the nut butter with seed butter.
You can add or omit any of the mix-ins, but make sure the ratios are the same as the written recipe. 
Store at room temperature in an airtight container for 3-5 days or in the fridge for 5-8 days. I prefer to keep them in the freezer for optimal freshness. They only take a few minutes to thaw. 
*Prep time doesn't include chilling time.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 217kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 238mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 9IU | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 1mg