January 7, 2013
Even though I tried not to overdo it on sweets during the holidays, my body has been craving sugar like crazy lately, so I know I need to help myself detox with lots of water and wholesome foods. That's why, after running across this post from The Little Red House, I knew I wanted to make these granola bars. They’re sweetened with dates, lightly salted, and you can mix in any kind of nut, dried fruit, or seed you want. I also like that you can store them in the freezer in an airtight container, and grab them in the morning for breakfast on-the-go.
Sweet and Salty Granola Bars
1 lb dried pitted dates
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups raw unsalted nuts, roughly chopped
1 cup seeds
1 cup dried fruit
Preheat oven to 350◦F. Measure out two cups worth of raw, unsalted nuts and chop roughly. Spread chopped nuts evenly in a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring every five minutes, until nuts begin to brown. Remove nuts from oven and lightly salt. Allow to cool for ten minutes.
Pour the dates into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they break down and form a ball of paste. Transfer paste to a large bowl. Measure out the rest of the ingredients and set aside.
Using clean hands, knead the ingredients into the date paste starting with the rolled oats and the nuts. Next, add as many of the seeds and dried fruit pieces as you can until the mixture is uniformly sticky throughout. You don’t want the mixture to be too dry or the bars will have difficulty holding together. Taste for salt, add a pinch if needed, and mix again.
*Tip: If the mixture gets too dry, mix in a tablespoon or two of maple syrup.
Press mixture evenly into a baking dish lined with wax paper or parchment, and place in the freezer for one hour to harden. To remove the bars, pull up the sides of the wax paper or parchment, and cut into bars. Store in the freezer in an airtight container.