Rich in fiber, protein and healthy fats, you would never think that something so delicious could also be so good for you. Sweet and chewy Medjool dates, crispy oats, crunchy almonds, flax seeds, and all those healthy mediterranean flavors in one delectable and naturally sweet vegan and gluten-free granola block. I also added a bit of extra dark chocolate – because in my book, it’s also a good for you feel-good food.
This recipe is very customizable and I added many ingredients to maximize the flavors and texture to my taste. However, the main components of these granola bars are oats, dates, and nut butter. Just with those three ingredients, you will get a granola bar that is sweet, crunchy, and firm. Therefore, feel free to add or take away ingredients to your liking.
INGREDIENTS/ MAKES 15-20 BARS
7 Medjool dates, pitted
5 tablespoons ground flax seeds
2 cups (165 gr.) whole grain oats
1 cup (240 gr.) peanut butter or hazelnut butter
1/2 cup (55 gr.) almonds
2 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
handful (20 gr.) yellow raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (50 gr.) dark chocolate, 70 percent or more cocoa solids, chopped
1. Soak the dates in water for 1/2 an hour. This will make them easier to work with. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F).
2. Mix the ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of water to form a paste. Combine all of the ingredients including the flax seed paste in a large bowl and mix together until well combined. The easiest way to do this is by kneading with your hands.
3. Press the mixture onto a 25 by 25 cm. square baking pan lined with parchment paper until smooth. I find that using a metal spatula or the bottom of a cup makes it easier to smooth out the surface. Top with some flax seeds or sesame seeds if you like.
4. Bake the granola block for 15 minutes. Let cool for at least an hour before removing from pan. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving and keep refrigerated for extra firmness. They are great for up to a few days, although they never seem to last that long in my home. Enjoy!