Today is wonderful.
It is an absolutely perfect fall day. I currently have the smell of oatmeal pumpkin chocolate chip cookies filling the house, Nathan is watching some Sunday football and the sunshine is just pouring through the windows. Does it get any better than this?? I think not :)
Now this has zip, zero, zilch to do with what I am talking about today, but the thought was too wonderful not to share. I LOVE FALL.
What I AM talking about today, though, is granola bars. Nathan and I love them, we really do, but we have had to boycott them for awhile since they are usually full of sugar and don’t offer much nutritional value. It was a sad day when we gave them up, but after months of searching, I have finally stumbled across a recipe for granola bars (here) that I am not intimidated by. Don’t ask me why, but every time I would hop online to start looking for recipes I would get all nervous when I found one. Like there was no way I could make them and that I should just.stop.looking. So weird, I know. But thankfully, I conquered my fear and now I have my go-to recipe that is super tasty (and good for you!) and makes me happy happy happy.
These little guys don’t take much time to make, nor do they require too many ingredients. Ten minutes tops. And the recipe makes 8 squares, depending how big you cut them.
First, you take a heaping cup of raw almonds. Grab your food processor and throw them in there :) Blend them for about 30 seconds until they are finely ground. They will be sort of powdery-ish, if that’s even a word.
While the almonds are blending, boil some water in a saucepan and toss in a 1/2 cup of pitted dates. Allow to boil for about two minutes to soften the dates.
When the two minutes are up drain the dates and put them in the food processor along with the rest of the ingredients:
1/3 cup of peanut butter or nut butter of your choice
2 Tbs. chia seeds
1 Tbs. honey or pure maple syrup (honey seemed to work better for me)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Blend until everything is well combined. It is important that these bars have a sticky consistency. If they are too dry and crumbly, add a tad bit more nut butter. If they are too wet, you can add some more dry nuts to the mix.
When you have acheived that sticky consistency, you are ready to form the bars. For this step, I used a 10″ bread pan. Place parchment paper or tinfoil at the base and around the sides of the pan. Empty the mixture into it, and press gently with your fingers. Then, pop it in the fridge and allow to set for about an hour before cutting the bars (you can store in an airtight container afterwards).
Once cut, you are ready to dig in! And I promise, you are in for a treat. I have made these three times in the past two weeks and have officially memorized the recipe. They are that good. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!