I kind of have a thing for granola bars. But somewhere along the line I got suspicious of the ingredients – namely high fructose corn devil – and strayed away from them altogether.
However, sometimes you really just need a snack that has some serious staying power. And being that many people are turning to being Minimalist Bakers, you know I wanted to find something simple. Enter: The 5-Ingredient (No Bake) Granola Bar. Things are getting seriously minimalist right now.
The base for these bars is dates – the natural sweetener super power. Then we add almonds, oats, peanut butter and honey (or maple syrup) and mix it all together!
That’s it. Just 5 ingredients, no baking involved (unless you want to toast the oats and almonds) and they’ll keep in the freezer for-ever (that is, if you can resist them for that long).
If you can’t jive with peanut butter simply swap in almond, sunflower or another nut/seed butter. To keep these vegan, stick with maple syrup or agave instead of honey. And to keep them gluten free, use GF oats. Simple, customizable, delicious.
Simple flavors, wholesome ingredients, salty-sweet and lots of crunch. I made a batch last week and am already down to one-quarter of ONE bar. How I exercised the self-control to save one quarter of a bar is beyond me. But by tomorrow it likely won’t be there, if I know myself at all.
These really are the perfect bar for a hearty snack because they keep you full for hours and don’t provide a sugar overload. Plus, they pack in plenty of healthy fats from the almonds and peanut butter, and lots of fiber from the oats. Afternoon and mid-morning snack, solved.
Healthy, no bake granola bars with just 5 ingredients and a sweet, crunchy texture. Peanut butter and honey complement each other perfectly in this ideal portable breakfast or snack.
- 1 cup packed dates, pitted (Sun Date Organic *Medjool or *Deglet Noor)
- 1/4 cup honey (or sub maple syrup or agave for vegan option)
- 1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter
- 1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten free for GF eaters) Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free
- Optional additions: chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc.
- Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a “dough” like consistency. (mine rolled into a ball)
- Optional step: Toast your oats in a 350 degree oven for 15-ish minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw – I just prefer the toasted flavor.
- Place oats, almonds and dates in a bowl – set aside.
- Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.
- Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8 dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily. (A loaf pan might work, but will yield thicker bars.)
- Press down until uniformly flattened. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let set in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden.
- Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. I kept mine in the freezer to keep them extra fresh, but it isn’t necessary.
Notes and Tips:
Non-contaminated, pure oats are gluten-free. They are safe for most people with gluten-intolerance. The main problem with oats in gluten-free eating is contamination. Most commercial oats are processed in facilities that also process wheat, barley, and rye. Bob’s Red Mill Oats are guaranteed pure and delicious, free of all gluten contamination.
If your dates don’t feel sticky and moist, soak them in water for 10 minutes then drain before processing. This will ultimately help hold the bars together better.
The Two Major Date Varieties
The Medjool variety is one of the largest dates and comes in a size ranging from large to king. It has a deep brown skin color with a notable sweet caramel flavor. These dates come with the pit because the fruit is too soft to put in a mechanical pitter. However, the pit can be removed without difficulty at home by making a small slice into the date, lengthwise and simply pulling out the pit. Consumers enjoy the Medjool variety for their versatile use as stuffed appetizers.
Medjool dates are also good for cooking but are commonly seen in gifts or with nuts and chocolate.
The Deglet Noor is a variety smaller in size as compared to a Medjool date. Because these dates can be machine or hand pitted, the Deglet Noor variety is a versatile date used for many functions, chopped, paste, sugar, concentrate. Deglets are distinguishable from other dates by their lighter, golden amber brown coloring.
This variety is great for cooking and can be used in many recipes that are both healthy and delicious. The Deglet Noor date is also commonly used in industrial applications that serve functions such as acting as a sugar substitute.
Make it a goal to source locally grown organic produce, organic pastured eggs, raw dairy products, oils, and grass-fed meats as much as possible.