For once, a truly healthy recipe! These are my standard granola bars, ones that I have made with both dried apricots and cranberries and are very much my “go to” thing when I want to make a healthy snack. They are super easy, last a few weeks in an airtight container (if you don’t eat all them straight away) and well … are healthy. This time I went with maple and date as the flavorings, but again, those can be substituted to whatever flavors you like.
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3/4 cup sunflower kernels, roasted
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup almond butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup dried dates, cut to 1/4 inch or smaller pieces
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a foil sling for your 9 x 13 baking pan and spray with cooking spray.
Toss the oatmeal and almonds together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the toasted wheat germ and sunflower kernels.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300F.
Place the butter, honey, maple syrup, almond butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the chopped dried dates and stir well. Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes then stir in the chocolate chips. If you do this any earlier they will just completely melt, which you don’t want at this stage (some will still melt, but that is ok)
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into rectangles or squares.