This is a recipe for a granola bar filled with all good things, something you can snack on and feel good about. It will nourish your body and yet still satisfy your sweet tooth. These bars are packed with healthy ingredients, oats, wheat germ, flax seed, dates, honey, applesauce, walnuts, and almonds and they taste great.
My mother recently bought me some Vietnamese cinnamon which is known to be one of the best types of cinnamon. I used it in these bars, and it definitely is a superior cinnamon, extra flavorful and sweet. I can't wait to make some cinnamon buns and try it in them. You can use regular cinnamon in these, but if you can get your hands on some Vietnamese cinnamon, it really is wonderful, and it is available in small jars which are reasonably priced.
Also, in these bars, I use almond butter, but rather than buying almond butter which can be pricey, I bought raw almonds and made my own almond butter. You can make almond butter really easily at home using a food processor, just follow the steps below on how to make almond butter, and then you can also add any flavoring to it that you like; a little honey or cinnamon would make a delicious homemade almond butter.
To make these granola bars, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. First you will want to make some almond butter. Place 1/2 cup of raw almonds in a food processor.
Turn the processor on and let it mix for about five minutes. After five minutes, remove the top and scrape down the sides.
Then turn it back on for a few more minutes until it becomes creamy like peanut butter.
Next, add 1/2 cup of chopped dates, 2/3 cup of honey, 1/4 cup of applesauce, and 1/2 teaspoon of Vietnamese cinnamon (or 3/4 teaspoon of regular cinnamon). Pulse a few times. The let it process until the mixture is creamy and the dates are almost completely pureed.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together 2 1/2 cups of oats, 1/4 of ground flax seed, and 1/4 cup of wheat germ.
Store wheat germ and flax seed in the freezer for longer shelf life, especially the wheat germ which, like nuts, goes rancid quickly.
Add 1 cup of chopped dates and 1 cup of chopped walnuts. Mix together well.
Add your pureed mixture from the food processor to the bowl. Mix together well.
Line a 9 x 9 or an 8 x 8 inch pan with nonstick foil or parchment paper.
Place your granola bar mixture into the lined pan and press into the pan using a spoon or your hands. Make sure it is tightly packed in the pan and smooth it so that it is spread out evenly.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Allow to cool slightly on the counter and then place the pan in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Then cut into bars.
Homemade Granola Bars adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
1/2 cup of raw almonds
1 1/2 cups of chopped dates, divided
2/3 cup of honey
1/4 cup of applesauce
1/2 teaspoon of Vietnamese cinnamon (or 3/4 teaspoon of regular cinnamon)
2 1/2 cups of oats
1/4 cup of wheat germ
1/4 cup of ground (or milled) flax seed
1 cup of chopped dates
1 cup of chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 9 or an 8 x 8 inch pan with nonstick foil or parchment paper.
Place almonds in food processor and process for five minutes. Turn food processor off and scrape down the sides. Process for a few more minutes until the mixture becomes creamy. Add 1/2 cup of chopped dates, honey, applesauce, and cinnamon. Process until the mixture is creamy and the dates are pureed. You will see little specks of dates. That is okay.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, wheat germ, and flax seed. Add 1 cup of chopped dates and the walnuts. Mix together well. Add the pureed mixture from the food processor and mix well. Transfer to prepared pan. Spread evenly into pan. Make sure the mixture is packed tightly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Allow the pan to cool on the counter for a few minutes. Then place the pan in the freezer for 20 minutes to cool completely. Cut into bars.
I am linking these up to A Little Birdie Told Me, These Chicks Cooked, Mrs. Fox's Sweet Party, Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday, Kid's Delight - Eggless & Vegan Bakes, and Sweets For a Saturday! Click on the link to see some delicious recipes and great crafts:)